New York City, NY

NYC Subway: service is authorized to return to 24 hours on May 17

Desiree Peralta

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The NYC subway has been doing nightly shutdowns for almost a year to facilitate COVID-19 cleaning, but this Monday, Andrew Cuomo announced it would be beginning again with 24/7 services starting on May 17th. The decision to close the subways for cleaning was made a year ago when scientists placed greater weight on surface contamination as a vector of coronavirus infection than they do now.

The night-time closure of the stations also allowed an identification process to be carried out each night of the homeless, who are evicted from the system and referred to social assistance services.

"If we reopen the economic and social activities of the city, we also need to have transportation available, and that is why the Subway activity will now have to be coordinated with this reopening," said Cuomo after announcing that on May 19th New York City will be taking a big step on normality.

Also, the 'curfew' that currently governs bars and restaurants that can only open until midnight will be eliminated on that same day, so many more people will need transportation on the streets at dawn.

Cuomo's announcement comes a day after Senate Majority Leader, Chuck Schumer from New York, asked Cuomo and the MTA to restore the New York subway service to how it was before the pandemic. “The City That Never Sleeps has a name that we have to live up to everywhere, including within our subway service,” the Schumer said during an appearance in Manhattan on Sunday.

Almost exactly one year ago, in April 2020, the MTA began a process of cleaning and disinfecting the entire mass transit system, including stations and wagons, causing Subway service to be suspended every night from 1 a.m. until 5 a.m., a closure that was then reduced last February to just two hours during the early morning, from 2 a.m. at 4 a.m.

And although the service returns to normal after May 17, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) must guarantee that the cleaning and disinfection process of the stations and wagons continues without alteration, said the governor.

Police still don't have an answer to the fear of passengers using the subway.

According to a survey, regular users of the New York City subway and buses feel fear of crime and harassment. Only 26% of the active users are "satisfied" with "safety against crime and harassment on trains.

However, neither the police nor Blasio has said anything about it, despite being a fairly obvious problem around the population.

The violence and "mental health crisis" in NYC are wreaking havoc on the transportation system, Feinberg denounced in a letter sent to Mayor Bill de Blasio in January. In February, the city added 644 police officers to the Metro, but the new survey found that less than half of riders (45%) had noticed the additional officers. ."

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