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ICYMI: Governor Cuomo Announces New York City Subway Will Resume 24 Hour Service Beginning May 17

New York City Transit
Updated May 3, 2021 1:30 p.m.

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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the New York City Subway will resume 24 hour a day service beginning May 17. In April, MTA New York City Transit officials announced 2,009,025 trips were recorded on the subway on April 8, the first time that more than two million trips were taken on the subway since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in New York City. The MTA will continue its unprecedented disinfection and cleaning effort. More than 75 percent of MTA customers agree the subway has never been cleaner. The resumption of 24-hour service will coincide with the Governor's announcement lifting the 12 a.m. food and beverage service curfew for outdoor dining areas.

"COVID-19 is on the decline in New York City and across New York State, and as we shift our focus to rebuilding our economy, helping businesses and putting people back to work, it's time to bring the Subway back to full capacity," Governor Cuomo said. "We reduced Subway service more than a year ago to disinfect our trains and combat the rising tide of COVID cases, and we're going to restore 24-hour service as New York gets back on the right track. This expansion will help working people, businesses and families get back to normal as the city reopens and reimagines itself for a new future."

Beginning May 6, 2020, New York City Transit closed for disinfection from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. The MTA provided free alternative transportation options to essential workers during the overnight hours that included a significant expansion of bus service across the city and for-hire vehicles as necessary.

MTA Chairman and CEO Patrick Foye said, "At this critical moment for New York's recovery, Gov. Cuomo and the MTA recognize the time is now right to safely restore overnight service on the subways. The city's economic revival hinges on a strong mass transit system - and a vital part of that is round-the-clock service. The MTA stands ready to power New York through this crucial next stage, as it has throughout the pandemic, prioritizing safety above all. Our rigorous disinfecting protocols remain in place, and we expect to see continued high mask usage thanks to the systemwide mask mandate."

Sarah Feinberg, Interim President of New York City Transit, said, "Overnight workers like waitresses, bartenders and more depend on Transit to get around in the late-night hours. We've been moving them for the last year by bus and I'm thrilled that we can once again provide them with safe and efficient overnight SUBWAY service as well, as more COVID restrictions on businesses are lifted. We take our duty to keep riders safe seriously - which is why our mask mandate and disinfecting regimen will continue, and we will keep pressing the City to provide the police and mental health resources needed to accommodate returning customers. New Yorkers - including our heroic workforce - deserve nothing less."

On February 15, Governor Cuomo announced that the MTA would partially restore overnight service on the New York City subway, pending continued positive trends in New York's COVID indicators. Effective Monday, February 22, the MTA extended late-night subway service by two hours, moving to a 2 a.m. - 4 a.m. closure daily.

The MTA has undertaken unprecedented cleaning and disinfecting protocols in the year since the pandemic began - and leveraged innovative technology - to ensure the system is as safe as possible for its customers. The MTA continues to work with FEMA for reimbursement on eligible COVID-related costs. The Authority has also rolled out robust public education campaigns and issued millions of masks to its customers. Mask compliance in the system remains high, with more than 97 percent of customers wearing a mask when riding mass transit. These COVID-related measures will remain in effect for the foreseeable future. The MTA also unveiled updates to the subway map that allow riders to find the nearest vaccination site throughout the city.