Today Governor Cuomo announced that for the first time ever, the MTA will deep clean all buses and subway trains every 24 hours. The news comes after weeks of MTA workers contracting COVID-19 with some deadly cases; and multiple reports that the subway trains are unsanitary. While dirty mass transit in New York is nothing new, the pandemic has caused a perfect storm of factors that led to the new 24-hour rule. COVID-19 caused homelessness to skyrocket so there has been an increase in the number of people sleeping on trains. By running a reduced schedule, trains and buses are crowded with passengers, some of whom do not have access to masks.
Cuomo outlined a new cleaning plan that is a joint partnership between the MTA, the city and the state. Up until now, the MTA had been cleaning the buses and subway trains every 72 hours.
To get this done, the subway will shut down every night from 1-5 a.m. The NYPD and other personnel will help make sure that nobody enters the stations during this time. The city will also provide an alternative to mass transit by providing buses and ride-sharing services, like Lyft and Uber.