New York’s 24/7 subway system will shutter nightly from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. to facilitate coronavirus cleaning, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday in a historic move.
“You never had a challenge of disinfecting every train every 24 hours,” said Cuomo in an Albany press briefing, a problem he earlier this week directed the MTA to solve. “It can best be done by stopping train service from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. every night.”
The nightly closures — the likes of which have never been imposed for an extended period of time on the system — will take effect in the early hours of May 6 and don’t yet have an established end date.
Cuomo announced the bombshell news in consultation with Mayor Bill de Blasio, and amid a crisis of exploding homelessness and deteriorating conditions in the subway system.
Long Island Railroad and Metro-North trains will also receive daily cleanings going forward, but without any planned service changes.
The “massive undertaking” is expected to impact an estimated 11,000 riders nightly, according to Cuomo and the MTA, who said buses, vans and for-hire vehicles will be provided to pick up the slack.