The New York City subway system will once again return to its full service sometime Monday, June 8, 2020, as the city is poised to reopen amidst civil turmoil and a waning global pandemic.
The Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) announced an increase to subway service returning to its normal daytime hours. An additional roughly 400,000 riders are once again expected to take to the subways of NYC beginning Monday.
Overnight service between the hours of 1-5 a.m. will remain suspended at this time as the MTA continues the well-publicized sanitizing procedures in place due to the onset of the novel coronavirus. Bus service remains unchanged in the overnight hours and continues regular operations.
The MTA advised the public to only take advantage of its public transportation network if they are essential workers or just returning to work. The industries awarded permission to open include construction, agriculture, hunting, manufacturing and the wholesale trade.
It was also declared that residents planning essential trips, for example a doctor visit, are granted authority to board either the bus or subway systems.
The following procedures will be in effect to halt the spread of COVID-19. Subway riders are required to sport a face covering or mask. To this end, the MTA has agreed to distribute two million free masks to those lacking proper attire. The face covering requirement will be enforced by affiliates of the New York Police Department.
A walkthrough of the subway system will also reveal the addition of hand sanitizing stations to prevent further coronavirus spread and clear floor markings inside subway stations to encourage the practice of social distancing.
In a statement NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio recommended the state-run agency to limit capacity on buses, trains and within the stations themselves. De Blasio also called for an increase to the frequency of service during peak hours in an effort to avoid overcrowding in subway cars, a blatant disregard for social distancing.
By Shabsie Saphirstein