New York Subway station
Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

New York City Subway System No Longer Operates 24 Hours Per Day Effective As of May 6, 2020

For the first time in greater than 115 years since it began operations on Thursday, October 27, 1904, the entire subway system in New York will no longer operate 24 hours per day effective as of tomorrow, Wednesday, May 6, 2020 at 1:00 in the morning because of the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic.

New York City Subway System No Longer Operates 24 Hours Per Day Effective As of May 6, 2020

New York Subway station
No, that sign in this subway station in the borough of Queens in New York is not an homage to BoardingArea. Photograph ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

Although the number of people who ride on the subway to get around the city has been significantly reduced due to being ordered to stay at home, the reason for subway service to operate 20 hours per day instead of 24 hours per day is to have trains and stations cleaned and disinfected every night between the hours of 1:00 in the morning and 5:00 in the morning until further notice.

According to this official announcement from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority of New York, “We’re operating MTA Essential Service during the COVID-19 pandemic so we can get health-care workers, first responders, and other essential personnel where they need to go. We’re running as much service as we can with the crews who are healthy and available to work, but service on many lines is limited.”

For people who are officially considered to be essential workers in the state of New York, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority of New York will help provide connections to other alternate transportation options during this time — but essential workers must complete this form to get updates on what is called the Essential Connector program.

People who are not considered essential workers can still ride as passengers aboard buses during overnight hours. Although all details have yet to be revealed, expect enhanced local buses to operate every 20 minutes and enhanced express buses to operate every 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, overnight bus service will be enhanced to prioritize routes with existing overnight service which serve hospitals; routes which serve hospitals but do not have overnight service; and routes which parallel subway lines.

Andrew Cuomo — who is the current governor of the state of New York — issued an executive order which requires all people in New York to wear masks or face coverings while out in public effective as of Friday, April 17, 2020.

“Please: If you’re not traveling for work related to an essential business, or for urgent personal business like a medical appointment, do not use the subway or take the bus”, according to the aforementioned announcement from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority of New York. “We need to keep our limited capacity available for people who must travel.”


Wow. Subway trains and stations which are actually considered to be cleaned and disinfected?

Where was all of this when I was commuting on the subway system in New York for years?

The subway system was so filthy when I was a commuter years ago that it was the impetus as to why I change my clothes and properly wash my hands regularly whenever I arrive home from being out…

…and being packed like sardines during rush hour did not exactly help matters — especially when someone coughed, sneezed, or yawned without covering their mouths.

All photographs ©2014 by Brian Cohen.

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