MTA Chairman and CEO Patrick Foye appeared live today on WCBS 880 with Steve Scott to discuss the expansion of overnight subway service.
A transcript of the interview appears below.
Steve Scott: Well, it's a glimmer, a glimmer, of a return to normalcy in New York City. This was the first morning of a phased increase of overnight service on the subways. MTA Chairman Pat Foye is live on our Newsline. Mr. Foye, good morning. The 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. overnight cleaning shutdown on the subways has been reduced to 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. So what happened to allow that?
Patrick Foye: Morning, Steve. Well last night, we did a, we increased overnight service by two hours. It was uneventful and went well, Sarah Feinberg and her team and the transit workers did a terrific job. What we do during those two hours is intensely disinfect subway cars and stations -- far more productive and efficient to do that without passengers on platforms or passengers on cars. We're going to continue to do that as directed by the CDC and the EPA, and it's good news, and we're eagerly looking forward to restoring 24-hour service to our customers.
Scott: Can you still do the same level of cleaning in two hours that had been done in four?
Foye: No, but we have, we've learned a lot about disinfecting and becoming more efficient at it, and it's frankly that innovation and increase in productivity that allowed us to increase overnight service by two hours. We're continuing to disinfect subway cars multiple times a day, and stations and platforms and areas that customers, high-touch areas, are being disinfected as well.
Scott: How will this impact ridership, you know, predominantly people who ride during the overnight hours?
Foye: That's a good question. The two hours that we restored accounted for about nearly 70% of the ridership during the 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. closure period, which was formerly the case before this morning. So nearly 70% of customers are being are now being accommodated and frankly, we look forward as soon as possible to restoring 24-hour service.
Scott: Are you confident that will happen?
Foye: Yes. Short answer is yes.
Scott: All right, MTA Chairman Pat Foye. Always a pleasure, thank you for talking with us today.
Foye: Thank you, Steve. Take care.