New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Thursday that New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority will shut down train service from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. each day to disinfect every train. Cuomo said ridership had dropped 92 percent amid the coronavirus pandemic. The governor’s “Essential Connector” program, which will go into effect on May 6, will require the city to disinfect trains and buses every 24 hours rather than the current rate of 72 hours. “When people get into the train in the morning, they have to know that train was disinfected the night before,” Cuomo said at his daily press briefing. “So that I can say to essential workers that are killing themselves for our state, we are keeping the subways open for you, and when you get on the subway in the morning or the afternoon, know that car was disinfected the night before.”
To make up for the service disruption, the MTA will offer buses, for-hire vehicles, and vans to essential workers for free, the governor said. As of Wednesday, 96 MTA employees had died from the coronavirus.