It actually doesn't require too many workers to man the subways. It only takes one person to drive a nine car train. If you open the subways up for free so you don't need to have token clerks, with just the managers and supervisors you can probably get some subway lines running. And the city can rapidly hire scabs for less money than the current transit workers are being paid, and I bet all the subway lines could be back in operation in a few days.
It would take longer to get the buses running because there are a lot more bus drivers and they require more training (driving a huge bus through crowded Manhattan streets sure doesn't look easy). But with just the subways in operation, the city would be almost back to normal.
Bloomberg and Pataki need to get some cajones here.