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MHV9218

New: Complete Overnight Service Shutdown

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Wanted to post this in its own thread. The system will now be entirely shut from 1am-5am to allow for covid-related cleaning and fumigation. Shuttle buses and some combination of other services will be provided. This is the first time in the history of the subway that 24/7 service has been halted by anything besides a strike, power outage, or natural disaster.

ABC Story: https://abc7ny.com/health/new-subway-bus-cleaning-plan-involves-overnight-shutdown/6139969/

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NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- A new subway and bus cleaning plan was unveiled Thursday that involves a complete suspension of overnight service after Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered officials to figure out how to "disinfect every train every night."

"When people get into the train in the morning, they have to know that train was disinfected the night before," Cuomo said. "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."

The MTA will stop ridership from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. daily to complete the cleaning. To fill the gaps, the MTA will provide buses, for-hire-vehicles, and dollar vans at no cost to essential workers.

The governor said that the city, state and MTA have accepted this "Essential Connector" program," which will go into effect next Wednesday, May 6.

He added that the LIRR and Metro-North will also disinfect daily without interruption.

The MTA also announced =a new code of conduct Wednesday amid the coronavirus pandemic that includes:
--No person is permitted to remain in a station for more than an hour
--No person can remain on a train or platform after an announcement that the train is being taken out of service
--Wheeled carts greater than 30 inches in length or width, including shopping and grocery carts, are banned

"We fully agree that we must do everything we can to keep our system and trains and buses as clean and as safe as possible," said Ken Lovett, senior adviser to MTA Chairman and CEO. "Following on our aggressive plan of disinfecting our stations twice each day and our full fleet every 72 hours, we are completing a plan to further enhance and increase the frequency of our cleaning. We will deliver that plan to the governor as he requested."

As of Wednesday, the MTA says 96 employees have died due to complications of COVID-19.

Big change for the city.

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My fear is the overnight shutdown will be made permanent.  The problem with all these emergency measures is thought is never given to how they end.

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Well I'm glad the essentials won't have to pay out of pocket for this, but I do wonder how the MTA budget will look after this is over. By agency tallies, even with reduced ridership, there are 10,000 riders during the overnight hours. That won't be small change for an indefinite service suspension, especially if Cuomo continues to expand the PAUSE.

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At least they’re doing something about the homeless issue. I’d argue that all of this deep cleaning that the (MTA) is doing now should’ve been done ages ago. 
 

While I understand that shutting down the system from 1 AM to 5 AM will help with cleaning the subway and getting the homeless out, I don’t think this should ever be a permanent thing given the density of New York. At the very least, I can foresee the 1-5 AM shutdown drag for 12-24 months so that General Orders and other repairs can be done more efficiently, heck. I’d say that this is a chance for the (MTA) to rethink their strategies when it comes to G.O.’s. They should bring back FASTRACK given how successful that program was and get rid of flagging wherever possible. 

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I have questions:

(1) For the last train of the night, is that 1:00 leaving the first stop or arriving at the last stop? Or will all trains just dump their passengers at 1:00 no matter where they are?

(2) For the first train of the morning, is that 5:00 leaving the first stop or arriving at the last stop?

(3) What about train trips that cross borough lines? Will ATU drivers operate in TWU territory (and vice versa)? Or will passengers have to switch buses at borough borders?

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18 minutes ago, LaGuardia Link N Tra said:

They should bring back FASTRACK given how successful that program was and get rid of flagging wherever possible. 

IIRC, the flagging position is still required even if there are no trains to flag.

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2 hours ago, Collin said:

My fear is the overnight shutdown will be made permanent.  The problem with all these emergency measures is thought is never given to how they end.

"Never let a crisis go to waste."

Quote

The MTA also announced =a new code of conduct Wednesday amid the coronavirus pandemic that includes:
--No person is permitted to remain in a station for more than an hour 
--No person can remain on a train or platform after an announcement that the train is being taken out of service
--Wheeled carts greater than 30 inches in length or width, including shopping and grocery carts, are banned

Sounds like specific rules to target the homeless, in the name of covid of course.

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1 hour ago, LaGuardia Link N Tra said:

While I understand that shutting down the system from 1 AM to 5 AM will help with cleaning the subway and getting the homeless out, I don’t think this should ever be a permanent thing given the density of New York. At the very least, I can foresee the 1-5 AM shutdown drag for 12-24 months so that General Orders and other repairs can be done more efficiently, heck. I’d say that this is a chance for the (MTA) to rethink their strategies when it comes to G.O.’s. They should bring back FASTRACK given how successful that program was and get rid of flagging wherever possible. 

I'd also be opposed to extending the overnight closure for 12-24.  The longer it goes on, the less likely 24 hour service is ever coming back.  However, the additional cleaning should definitely become permanent, even though it probably doesn't make sense to do it every 24 hours.  As for FASTRACK, why was it discontinued in the first place?

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Let's hash this out without knowing the particulars yet. I'm wondering about the poor soul who arrives at Nostrand/Flatbush at 1 am heading to work at Woodhull, the Farley P.O. in Manhattan or Jamaica Hospital or the (MTA) worker who needs to sign on at 241st-WPR, or LIRR Penn, MNRR-GCT. How about the Jersey resident who comes in to 33rd St or WTC and must head elsewhere to open up their essential businesses ?  Same goes from the LI resident heading toward Jamaica or Penn.I'm just trying to get the conversation started. Have at it. Carry on.

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Huh, silly me.

Here I was, thinking that Governor Andrew Cuomo had no control of the MTA whatsover.

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Why are y'all worried that this will be for good? Maybe I'm misremembering but I recall reading one of these transit boards that's it's easier to keep the system running 24/7 than to shut it down every night.

 

I'm pretty sure trains will still be running light throughout the system during this closure. 

 

Not to mention all the ppl who work odd hours, etc. This is the "city that never sleeps" no way this will be permanent.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Gotham Bus Co. said:

What about train trips that cross borough lines? Will ATU drivers operate in TWU territory (and vice versa)? Or will passengers have to switch buses at borough borders?

there aren't any TWU or ATU "traditional" territories anymore. shuttle work is assigned by availability. meaning, if/when shuttle work is available in queens division, ATU 1056 gets priority. however if the 3 TA yards can't cover, then the Queens Local 100 (bus company) yards are called. then, JFK/Far Rock (ATU 1179) then, Spring Creek. then, Brooklyn/MaBSTOA. then Staten Island.

in this scenario, seeing as most (if not all) surface transit branches are experiencing low manpower numbers, i don't expect there to be a general pecking order. it'll be strictly about coverage.

Edited by EastFlatbushLarry
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I've seen pushback on this plan from transit advocates and elected officials.  I think they have a valid point that there needs to be set guidelines or an end date when 24 hour service is restored so that no one has the bright idea of making this service cut permanent.

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The plan pays for itself. 

It cost about $325/car/hour to operate a subway train in NYC. Multiply $325 x the number of cars on the line x the average trip time and that is a sizeable number across the system.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, JAzumah said:

The plan pays for itself. 

It cost about $325/car/hour to operate a subway train in NYC. Multiply $325 x the number of cars on the line x the average trip time and that is a sizeable number across the system.

 

1 hour ago, Collin said:

I've seen pushback on this plan from transit advocates and elected officials.  I think they have a valid point that there needs to be set guidelines or an end date when 24 hour service is restored so that no one has the bright idea of making this service cut permanent.

 

It won't be permanent because it will be more expensive to close for 4 hours each night than to leave everything running....

 

(1)  The midnight crews still need to be paid, whether they work or not.

(2) Any crews reporting or clearing at "foreign" terminals must be paid their full run pay plus extra time at time-and-a-half, plus travel time at time-and-a-half.

(3) The replacement service will be very expensive because all those bus drivers have to be paid at time-and-a-half.

(4) Fares won't be collected (because buses will board through the rear doors).

(5) MTA has to cover Uber/Lyft fares. 

(6) Cops and social workers will be needed (on overtime) to keep homeless people off the buses.

Edited by Gotham Bus Co.

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8 hours ago, Gotham Bus Co. said:

I have questions:

(1) For the last train of the night, is that 1:00 leaving the first stop or arriving at the last stop? Or will all trains just dump their passengers at 1:00 no matter where they are?

(2) For the first train of the morning, is that 5:00 leaving the first stop or arriving at the last stop?

(3) What about train trips that cross borough lines? Will ATU drivers operate in TWU territory (and vice versa)? Or will passengers have to switch buses at borough borders?

If you use previous Cuomo-era shutdowns as a baseline, stations close for new passengers at 1am, and passengers that boarded a train before 1am would be able to finish their trip.

At 5AM, all stations would re-open and you might be on a train within a half hour because most if not all the Cuomo era subway shutdowns have involved trains running light (or is it dark?) throughout the system at their normal intervals, just not picking up passengers.

Dont know what they'll do with the replacement service tho.

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34 minutes ago, Gotham Bus Co. said:

 

 

It won't be permanent because it will be more expensive to close for 4 hours each night than to leave everything running....

 

(1)  The midnight crews still need to be paid, whether they work or not.

(2) Any crews reporting or clearing at "foreign" terminals must be paid their full run pay plus extra time at time-and-a-half, plus travel time at time-and-a-half.

(3) The replacement service will be very expensive because all those bus drivers have to be paid at time-and-a-half.

(4) Fares won't be collected (because buses will board through the rear doors).

(5) MTA has to cover Uber/Lyft fares. 

(6) Cops and social workers will be needed (on overtime) to keep homeless people off the buses.

You are not wrong (per se), but think logically:

1) They are short crews. They are better used during the morning/afternoon rush hours. Pay them the penalty stated in the contract and use them where they are needed most. I imagine that some will also be needed to reposition trains for maintenance and other purposes.

2) It is cheaper to put them in an Uber to the home terminal than operate a train at $325/hour/car. Every cancelled trip is around $3,000 in the time window. In addition, they can ask the Feds for reimbursement as a "virus expense".

3) Operating an MTA articulated bus with a driver paid at 1.5x their normal rate is slightly cheaper than operating a single car subway train. It can also be expensed as a "virus expense". I am not sure how many drivers they can get, but as long as it does not impact daylight bus service, they will save tons of funds. The bigger issue is how well they can staff these shuttles PLUS construction shuttles without affecting daylight service.

4) It will be peanuts if they have to put everyone that rides the G train in a cab. 

5) The cops and social workers should have been there already and they DO NOT come out of the MTA budget. It will likely come out of FEMA's budget.

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10 hours ago, Collin said:

My fear is the overnight shutdown will be made permanent.  The problem with all these emergency measures is thought is never given to how they end.

I’m all for it going forward to keep the system clean. 

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The stations can be cleaned while trains are still running.  Adequately cleaning stations is different than an attempt to completely disinfect every square inch of the system every 24 hours.  It's political theater.  The trains will probably be running 24/7, but empty because it takes multiple hours to actually shut down all operations.  At least that's what was said when it was shut down for Sandy.

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This is less about actually scrubbing the cars clean and more so about keeping out the homeless, who are seen as mass viral vectors since they don;t wear masks, don;t follow hygiene protocol, are all at high risk of infection due to medical issues, and quite frankly, scare the hell out of everyone now. Maybe one positive out of all of this horror is that the city will finally get real on helping the "subway homeless" through court mandated treatment, supportive housing, etc. 

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4 hours ago, EastFlatbushLarry said:

there aren't any TWU or ATU "traditional" territories anymore. shuttle work is assigned by availability. meaning, if/when shuttle work is available in queens division, ATU 1056 gets priority. however if the 3 TA yards can't cover, then the Queens Local 100 (bus company) yards are called. then, JFK/Far Rock (ATU 1179) then, Spring Creek. then, Brooklyn/MaBSTOA. then Staten Island.

in this scenario, seeing as most (if not all) surface transit branches are experiencing low manpower numbers, i don't expect there to be a general pecking order. it'll be strictly about coverage.

I've seen runs for the 7 shuttle at Flushing before!

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