New York City subway to close overnight for first time in history

New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Administration (MTA) plans to shut down the city’s subway system from 01:00 to 05:00 on Wednesday morning for disinfecting.

Service will resume each day, but on a truncated schedule for the first time in the subway’s 115-year history. Buses will be free during that time, the BBC reports.

It comes amid a 90% drop in riders, but a large uptick in homeless people who have essentially moved onto railcars.

“Our customers should not have to board a car that’s being used as a shelter,” acting New York City Transit President Sarah Feinberg said last week.

Starting at 01:00 the city’s 472 subway stations will become exit-only and thousands of NYPD officers will flood the system to force out anyone remaining on trains and platforms.

At his daily news conference New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said normal service would resume when “the pandemic is not problematic”.

“You tell me when the global pandemic is over and I’ll tell you when 24-hour service resumes,” he told one reporter.

Cuomo added that the state had seen 230 Covid-related deaths in past 24 hours, up from 226 on Sunday.