Section 37. Notwithstanding any contrary provision of law, whenever there exists a continued interruption, stoppage or slowdown of transportation of passengers on any vehicle or line of the authority or a strike causing the same, and which is in violation of an injunction, a temporary injunction, a restraining order, or other order of a court of competent jurisdiction, and which threatens the availability of essential services of transportation to such an extent as to endanger the health, safety or welfare of the community, the governor may declare that an emergency exists. During such emergency he may take possession of, and operate in whole or in part, the lines and facilities of the authority in order to safeguard the public health, safety and welfare. Such power and authority may be exercised through any department or agency of the commonwealth or through any person or persons and with the assistance of such public or private instrumentalities as may be designated by him. Such lines and facilities shall be operated for the account of the authority. The powers hereby granted to the governor shall expire 45 days after his proclamation that a state of emergency exists.