Increased Overnight Service Will Support Phased Reopening of New York City
24/7 Disinfecting of Trains and Stations to Continue
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today is reminding customers that overnight subway service will be extended by two hours, moving to a 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. nightly closure, beginning Monday, Feb. 22. Stations will be open two additional hours while the MTA continues the most aggressive deep cleaning and disinfecting regimen in its history. Since May 6, 2020, the subway has been closed from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. to allow for the daily disinfection and enhanced cleaning of all 472 stations and thousands of train cars.
This partial reopening supports the city’s ongoing reopening of commerce and reflects positive trends including increasing vaccinations, drops in the COVID infection and hospitalization rates, the resumption of indoor dining, extended hours for bars and restaurants, and the reopening of arenas and stadiums. \
“The subway reopening from 1 to 2 a.m. and from 4 to 5 a.m. will provide increased service for the vast majority of those traveling during the overnight hours,” said Patrick J. Foye, MTA Chairman and CEO. “The continued partial suspension will allow for the most aggressive disinfection regimen in MTA history, as recommended by federal and international public health authorities such as the Centers for Disease Control, Environmental Protection Agency and World Health Organization."
“It is crucial that the MTA provide increased service as health metrics improve and the city begins to reopen,” said Sarah Feinberg, Interim President of MTA New York City Transit. “I want to assure our customers and employees that the daily disinfecting that has protected them will continue and keeping the public safe from COVID is a top priority.”
Along with public health experts, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Research and Development recently advised MTA to continue to disinfect surfaces following remarks on Feb. 9 by Dr. Shawn Ryan, Director of the EPA's Homeland Security Program, who said, "surfaces are still recognized as a route for exposure to the virus," and "CDC and EPA guidance suggest frequent hand washing as well as cleaning and/or disinfecting surfaces that are frequently touched by many people."
A survey by Hofstra University published last month found three out of four riders felt safer riding the subway as a result of COVID cleaning. The results were in line with an MTA survey conducted in the fall with a similar finding: 76% of 20,000 customers agreed that cleaning and disinfecting made them feel safe when using transit.