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.
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.
Schumer on Monday lauded Cuomo’s announcement restoring overnight service.
“We’re the city that never sleeps, in part, because of our 24/7 subway service. It makes all the sense in the world to bring this full service back ASAP, so on behalf of workers and riders, I am glad the MTA is heeding my call and fully reopening the subway to get this city back on track,” Schumer said in an emailed statement.
Cuomo stressed that the cleanliness of trains and stations will remain a priority for the MTA after full service is restored.