New York City will shut down its subways every night to clean and disinfect them

NYPD and MTA officers wake up sleeping passengers and direct them to the exits at the 207th Street A-train station.AP Photo/John Minchillo
  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the MTA will shut subways overnight between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. to clean and disinfect trains to halt the spread of the coronavirus.
  • Essential workers will be able to use city buses and rideshare services for free during the closures.
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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is directing the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the agency in charge of the city's public transit, to shut down all trains in New York City each night so they can be cleaned and disinfected.

The trains won't run between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m., traditionally the hours with the least ridership, in order to disinfect surfaces which may be carrying and spreading the virus.

Essential workers will be provided free transit with buses, ride-sharing services, and 'dollar' vans during the closures.Advertisement

Cuomo was joined by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio during the Thursday morning announcement.

"We're going to find a way to make our subway system cleaner that it has ever been in its history, probably," de Blasio said, adding that cleaning the subways will take coordination among multiple city and state agencies.

Commuter trains on the Metro-North and Long Island Railroad will also be disinfected each night.

The shutdowns will start on Wednesday, May 6.

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