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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Pandemic update: NYCT begins overnight subway closures for deep cleaning

The MTA New York City Transit subway system will close between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m.
Photo – CDC


The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) yesterday announced it will close the New York City Transit subway system daily between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. to perform deep cleaning of rail cars and stations, and test new cleaning solutions.

About 11,000 riders on average use the subway during this overnight period, MTA officials said in a press release. 

Essential workers traveling to and from work during the closure period will be connected with for-hire-vehicles through MTA’s Essential Connector program. The free service will be offered to riders who show proof of essential travel with credentials.

The MTA Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad will also begin disinfecting trains daily.

Meanwhile, New Jersey Transit announced that COVID-19 testing has become available to its employees in East Rutherford. 

Through an agreement with the agency, Agile Urgent Care and Accurate Diagnostics Lab have opened a testing site, which previously was available only to first responders and frontline health-care workers. 

NJ Transit is working to expand access to similar testing sites in central and south Jersey, agency officials said in a press release.

In Chicago, Metra on May 4 will temporarily further reduce schedules on its three least-busy lines: the Heritage Corridor, SouthWest and North Central service. 

Metra estimates it will lose about $535.5 million in fare and sales tax revenue in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, officials said in a press release. The service reductions are expected to save about $470,000 a month in labor and fuel costs.

Also this month, the North County Transit District and Metropolitan Transit System in San Diego, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority in San Jose, California, and the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority will require rail passengers to wear face coverings.