Latest New York City Subway Plan Includes End Of Overnight Service
Shut down the subway overnight in the city that never sleeps?
That was among the recommendations made Thursday by an influential think tank, which proposed ending New York City’s vaunted 24-hour subway service as a way to help save a public transit system groaning with age and in dire need of costly upgrades more easily performed on silent tracks in the dead of night. “The era of 24-hour subway service has come to an end,” said Tom Wright, president of the Regional Plan Association, which included the recommendation in a broader set of proposals to shore up outdated infrastructure in and around the nation’s biggest city.
The initial reaction of many New Yorkers? Fuhgeddaboudit. “Stand clear of the awful idea!” said the Daily News, in a nod to the ubiquitous conductor announcements advising passengers to stand clear of closing train doors. It said the plan would “snuff the pride of New York,” which has long looked down at cities — especially Boston — that halt trains and buses late at night.
Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Joseph Lhota called the proposal “a bit draconian” and said a full weeknight shutdown would be “inappropriate.” He added the MTA already occasionally halts service on some lines on nights and weekends for repairs.
Dedicating overnight hours entirely to repairs would help shorten the time frame for repair and replacement work, Wright said this week.
Subway delays have soared in recent years partly because upgrading decades-old equipment is difficult on tracks that always are humming with activity.
The Regional Plan Association said a combination of expanded bus service and ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft could make up the difference for the estimated 1.5 percent of riders who use the system during overnight hours.
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