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Boston-bound commuters find empty parking lots

Providence Station

Commuters in South Attleboro were shocked Friday morning to find the commuter rail parking lot empty and MBTA service suspended.

In the wake of the manhunt for suspects in the Boston bombings, the state of Massachusetts suspended all forms of public transportation Friday. Amtrak, commuter rail, subway trains, buses and taxis in the Boston area stopped running Friday morning.

"It's eerie," commuter Nora Bolcon said as she arrived at the empty parking lot.

Gov. Deval Patrick ordered residents in Boston and surrounding communities to stay in their homes.

Overnight, police shot and killed one of the suspects in a high-speed chase that started in Cambridge and ended in Watertown. Since that incident, travel to the Watertown area has been completely restricted.

The travel suspension has had an impact on Rhode Island commuters, too.

"I hear they're tracking people down, that's pretty good, you can't hide from us," commuter Scott Chartier said.

Amtrak service from Providence also came to a halt Friday morning. Amtrak officers said they could be running service to New York City, but the trains needed for those trips are stuck in Boston.

Police in bullet-proof vests surrounded the Providence Amtrak station. Providence police ordered K-9 units to the train station for extra protection.

Commuters said they're comforted by the news of police actively pursuing a suspect in this case.

"I hope this means this is coming to an end ... I think it's shocking that people hate other people enough to do the harm that they've done," Bolcon said.

MBTA officials said they anticipate public transportation will remain limited until the manhunt comes to an end.

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