NYC subway: Service to resume 24/7 after year of nightly pandemic shutdowns, Cuomo says


People wearing protective masks during the coronavirus pandemic exit the Kew Gardens subway station on Monday, Oct. 5, 2020.

NEW YORK — The New York City subway system will resume 24/7 service after a year of nightly shutdowns for cleaning amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Monday.

Full service will be restored on May 17, Cuomo said. The announcement comes as more workers return to their city offices and businesses operate with larger customer capacity limits.

Cuomo also announced most capacity restrictions for retail, restaurants and bars, gyms, personal care shops and other businesses will end on May 19. However, some specific restrictions will remain on their current timeline, including the midnight curfew on indoor dining, which is set to expire on May 31.

The city’s subway system has been long celebrated for its all-night service. But in an unprecedented move in May 2020, subway service was shut down nightly between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. to allow transit workers and cleaning crews to disinfect trains and stations as COVID ravaged New York City.

Cuomo and Metropolitan Transportation Authority leadership announced in February that around-the-clock subway service would be gradually restored as a second wave of COVID cases and hospitalizations began to ebb. The subway system currently shuts down each day from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m.

Over the weekend, Sen. Chuck Schumer had called on the state-run MTA to resume 24-hour service immediately. He pointed to a jump in subway ridership, a drop in the number of coronavirus cases reported in the city and the increasing number of people getting vaccinated.

Cuomo on Monday stressed that the cleanliness of trains and stations will remain a priority for the MTA after full service is restored.

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