NYC subways to resume 24/7 service after year of nightly COVID-19 closures

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday will announce the resumption of 24/7 subway service, sources said — almost one year to the day after he ordered nightly shutdowns to facilitate COVID-19 cleaning.

The move comes after months of pressure from advocates and elected officials to resume pre-pandemic subway hours, culminating in the last week with calls to reopen from Mayor Bill de Blasio and Sen. Chuck Schumer.

“The City That Never Sleeps has a name that we have to live up to everywhere, including within our subway service,” the Senate Majority Leader said during an appearance in Manhattan on Sunday.

Cuomo announced the policy on April 30, 2020 with the goal of clearing trains and stations of homeless people and other stragglers, which the he and MTA officials said was necessary to deep-clean and disinfect amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

People wearing masks ride in an R subway train during the pandemic in NYC.
People wearing masks ride in an R subway train during the pandemic in NYC.
Gary Hershorn/Getty Images

The closures ran from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. until this past February, when officials shortened the timespan to 2 a.m. to 4 a.m.

People wearing masks walk past a subway station in NYC.
People wearing masks walk past a subway station in NYC.
Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Scientists have concluded that the deadly virus is primarily spread through the air, not surfaces. The MTA has persisted with its multi-million dollar cleaning regiment, however, arguing that even the slightest chance of contracting the virus could deter some riders.

As New York begins to reopen, subways will return to full service.
As New York begins to reopen, subways will return to full service.
Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images

Officials plan to continue the $300 million-per-year scrubbing effort in the coming years.

Credit: NYPOST

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