Cuomo announces ‘unprecedented’ shutdown of NYC subway system for daily coronavirus cleanings

Tribune Content Agency

NEW YORK — The subway system that never sleeps is grinding to a halt.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday that New York City’s around-the-clock subway system will shut down every day between 1 and 5 a.m. so trains can be scrubbed with disinfectants in an “unprecedented” move to curb the spread of coronavirus.

In his daily briefing from Albany, Cuomo said the “aggressive” daily cleanings will allow health care professionals, first responders and other essential workers relying on public transit to safely ride back and forth to the front lines of the war against the virus.

“They’re on those trains and they deserve to be kept safe and deserve to have clean, safe rides to and from work and they’re going to have it,” the governor said. “We’ll move heaven and Earth to make sure it happens.”

Buses will also be cleaned every 24 hours, as will the Long Island Rail Road and the Metro North lines, Cuomo said.

Cuomo said the MTA will provide free for-hire vehicles — “dollar vans” — and buses to essential workers who need to travel between 1 and 5 a.m.

The announcement comes after the New York Daily News highlighted a spiraling homeless problem on city subways amid the pandemic on Tuesday’s front-page.

Cops and MTA workers began removing homeless people from subways early Wednesday, offering them housing in shelters or hospital care.


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