MTA to stop all subway service overnight to disinfect trains

Transit authorities will shut down overnight subway service beginning May 6 to disinfect trains amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Photo via Wikimedia Commons

The MTA will halt all overnight subway service to disinfect subway cars during the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday.

The subway system will stop service between 1 am and 5 am beginning May 6 to allow crews to fully clean every train car, specifically touchable surfaces, Cuomo said. Subway service will be replaced during these hours by buses and ride-sharing vehicles that will offer free rides to essential workers.

The governor claimed that the overnight shutdown won’t have a major impact on commuters, as subway ridership is down 90-percent since the COVID-19 outbreak began in mid-March. 

The plan, developed by the MTA and supported by Cuomo, has won the support of Mayor Bill de Blasio and other elected officials. 

The closure comes as the city has increased efforts to remove homeless people from the subways during the COVID-19 pandemic. On April 28, Cuomo referred to a photo of homeless people camping out in a subway car as “disgusting” and disrespectful to essential workers.

Trains on the Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road systems will also be disinfected every night, but that will not impact service.

This story first appeared on AMNY.com.