New York City’s subways, famous for all-night operation, were shut down between 1 to 5 a.m. on April 30, 2020, so trains and stations could be disinfected. The change was also intended to make it easier to remove homeless people from trains where many had been spending the night. The overnight closure was scaled back to 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. in February.
The leader of a union representing transit workers called the move a “great idea” but said the city must add more mental health services, homeless outreach and uniformed police officers to the transit system.
“Too many transit workers and riders are being harassed and assaulted right now with the current hours of operation,” Transport Workers Union Local 100 President Tony Utano said in a statement.
During an occasionally contentious MTA board meeting Wednesday, the NYPD’s transit chief recited statistics showing overall crime was down in the subways in the first quarter, and decried what she called “fear-mongering” by some officials.
But Interim New York City Transit President Sarah Feinberg, who oversees the subway system, countered that felonies and misdemeanors per million riders actually have risen since 2019 and that the current overall decrease is skewed by a drop in grand larcenies.
“Not everything that happens in the subway is reflected in these index crimes,” Feinberg said.