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Lil 57

Is Cuomo’s Overnight Subway Closure a Sneak Attack on Full 24-7 Service?

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Is Cuomo’s Overnight Subway Closure a Sneak Attack on Full 24-7 Service?

By Dave Colon

Jun 19, 2020

subway-closure-night-2-coney-island-term

Will this be the new normal? Photo: Marc A. Hermann / MTA New York City Transit

Will the City that Never Sleeps ever fully wake up from its nap?

As New York City continues without 24/7 subway service, Gov. Cuomo, Mayor de Blasio and MTA Chairman and CEO Pat Foye have all insisted that 24-hour service will return when the coronavirus pandemic is over. But recently, Cuomo has been hailing the overnight shutdown as the linchpin of the cleanest system he’s ever seen, and literally suggested there’s a choice New York will need to make between spotless subway cars or 24-hour service.

As the governor continues to talk up the benefits of shutting the subways down and the MTA refuses to even entertain the idea of adding something like ridership metrics to trigger the return to 24/7 service, it’s fair to wonder — as many activists are — if that service will ever actually return.

“The governor needs to give us criteria for when overnight service comes back,” said Riders Alliance communications director Danny Pearlstein. “He’s talking up these shiny trains, but New Yorkers have built our entire lives around overnight service. So just like he’s established criteria to reopen regions across the state, we need those for restarting overnight subway service so we can go over the merits and argue them if necessary.”

The governor’s most recent comments about overnight subway service are worrying, since overnight service is being pitched as an impediment to lemon-scented subway cars, and there doesn’t appear to be an organized pushback against his messaging.

“You can’t disinfect the cars and clean them the way they’re cleaning them and have around-the-clock service,” the governor said last Monday. Two days later, he told reporters that “those trains are cleaner than they’ve ever been in my lifetime.”

MTA management has shrugged off the governor’s rhetoric, saying that overnight subway service will return. But even that is a subtle rewriting of the history of the shutdown. When the overnight cessation was announced, Foye told reporters, “This is a cessation of service during the pendency of the pandemic” and that 24-7 service would return when the pandemic was over.

But recently, New York City Transit Interim President Sarah Feinberg merely said that it was the MTA’s intention to return to overnight service, instead of guaranteeing it.

“So our intention is to return to 24/7 service at some point,” Feinberg told reporters last week at a press conference at Fulton Center. “We are absolutely going to wait until at least the end of the pandemic, but I think we’ll get there at some point.” (She thinks?)

Cuomo’s praise for the shining results of the end of overnight service have also been boosted by sections of the city’s civil society and even Mayor de Blasio’s MTA Board representatives. Bob Linn, a mayoral appointee to the MTA Board, endorsed the mayor’s late-April suggestion to close the MTA’s end-of-line stations in order to clean trains and remove homeless individuals from the subway system, and told Streetsblog that less subway service would actually be better for the city in the long run.

“We should certainly be trying to get to the endpoint of New York City running full 24/7 service,” said Linn. “It’s a reasonable objective to get to. The question is how? The mayor’s idea is a good middle ground. I don’t know what it will look like, but the idea is to make transit service better in the end.”

Former Citizens Budget Commission Executive Director Carol Kellerman argued in Gotham Gazette in favor of ending 24/7 service in order to speed up signal modernization and do better maintenance work on the system. Kellerman’s op-ed was an endorsement of a 2017 proposal from the Regional Planning Association that suggested shutting down the subway on weeknights between midnight and 5 a.m. for maintenance every day, which was controversial at the time and never quite gained traction with the public or other transit experts.

The RPA’s argument was that overnight track work is inefficient if the subways themselves are still running. It doesn’t give work crews enough work time because so much time is wasted setting up and tearing down.

“I have zero confidence in Americans to know how to do regular maintenance during nighttime windows,” said Alon Levy, who’s covered what the many drawbacks to American transit agencies moving to a European-style overnight maintenance system. “A five-hour shutdown period in Boston somehow turns into a three- to four-hour construction window, in which too little gets done; the Blue Line is about to be shut down for maintenance even though it’s the busiest line during the virus, because the MBTA doesn’t know what RATP, Tokyo Metro, etc. know about nighttime maintenance, and I guarantee you that neither does NYCT,” they said.

It might sound counterintuitive that European labor practices are more efficient than American ones, but the MTA has been dinged for refusing to follow international best practices in areas like capital construction costs, bus stop spacing and the agency’s transformation report. For that reason and others, Levy said that New York is the worst possible city to make the switch from overnight subway service to overnight bus service.

“There probably exist world cities where replacing overnight subways by buses is stupider than in New York, but I can’t think of any right now,” said Levy.

The main challenge to ending full overnight subway service is New York’s own geography. Because of our rivers, buses have far fewer ways to get into and out of Manhattan. Four subway tunnels connect Manhattan and Queens below 59th Street, compared to two roadways. And eight subway lines connect Manhattan to Brooklyn, compared to only four traffic-choked bridges or tunnels. Levy once wrote that this shortage of inter-borough roadways makes night buses “virtually useless” in New York, as does the way buses are currently designed as subway feeders.

“The average unlinked bus trip in New York is 2.1 miles, the average unlinked subway trip is 3.9 miles. If a cosmic force shuts down the subway overnight then the optimal night bus network looks different from both the subway network (since there’s a shortage of river crossings) and the bus network (since the buses are not designed for long-distance trips),” said Levy.

The transit realities and finances don’t really point to overnight buses working either. Financially, a bus-based overnight transportation plan wouldn’t save money unless ridership numbers are very low.

“Theoretically it only works out if a train is carrying less than two buses worth of riders,” TransitCenter spokesman Ben Fried said about the prospect of running overnight buses instead of trains. “If they run a night bus service, it would be much slower and less useful than the subway line it replaced.”

Bus service costs $3.70 per passenger in New York, compared to $1.93 per passenger for the subway according to the Federal Transit Administration, which would make something like a nighttime subway schedule dependent on filling the gaps with bus service financially incoherent. Even with a reduction in street traffic, congestion is only a piece of New York City’s high cost of bus service. Poor stop spacing also prevents buses from moving at their top speeds even on empty streets, and labor and maintenance costs on the bus system contribute to the country’s highest operating costs per hour, according to Curbed.

Overnight bus service does eventually get cheaper than the subway at 2 a.m., as congestion melts away and ridership drops. The state could follow the RPA recommendation to create bus service that mimics existing subway service, but it’s hard to see the political will coming together to make a bus map with many fewer stops than the existing map. Mimicking the subway map, where stops are around 2,112 feet away from each other on average, would require a huge overhaul of existing bus service in a city where only the Bronx has finished a bus network redesign that spaces stops more than 750 feet from each other on average.

There’s also the question of adapting the bus to move many more people than the current emergency bus plan is moving. Standard and articulated buses have only 40 and 62 seats respectively, so even a bus at 125-percent capacity would fit 50 or 77 riders at a time. Moving the 11,000 essential workers who have to commute overnight during the pandemic takes 344 buses making 1,168 trips, a massive use of resources for barely more than 13 percent of the usual overnight ridership, which is typically around 82,000 people. Buses would either have to provide slower free service past a certain stop on a line if full subway lines no longer ran 24 hours per day, or would have to replicate trips that can sometimes take trains through three boroughs on one trip.

“It’s a manpower issue,” added Ben Kabak, the publisher of transit-focused blog Second Avenue Sagas, referring to replacing the subways with overnight buses. “Since buses have the fraction of the capacity of a subway, you have to run a lot more buses to carry all of the passengers, and that means more drivers, more maintenance, dispatchers, etc.”

Other cities that never had overnight subway service are now adding it, which suggests any effort by New York City to not restore overnight service is a non-starter. The London Underground introduced a “Night Tube” schedule on five lines on weekends in order to relieve pressure on buses where a 170-percent increase in night bus utilization this century left “many users suffering delays due to having to wait for multiple buses before they can get on.”

The Paris Metro experimented with overnight service from September 2019 until March this year in an attempt to boost the nightlife industry, which led the president of Paris’s public transportation governing board to say she could “imagine a Paris that never sleeps.” (And neither of those cities have the aforementioned river problem that New York has, thanks to multiple bridges across a narrower main river.)

Alex K@AlexWithAK

CityMD, which has been a key to resource, especially for testing, had to scale back hours due to @NYGovCuomo's overnight transit shutdown. https://twitter.com/RidersAlliance/status/1258059390747361281 …

 Riders Alliance@RidersAlliance

Earlier today @NYGovCuomo shut down subways from 1AM to 5AM & calls it “better public transit.” His plan suspends service for 10,000+ riders to clean trains & remove homeless New Yorkers. We’re challenging the Governor to think BIGGER about “better public transit” should mean ..

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2:58 PM - May 7, 2020

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New York’s reputation as “the city that never sleeps” isn’t just something that would take a psychological hit from an end to 24/7 service either. Observers say the city’s economy is too inextricably linked to 24/7 subway service to work any other way, especially since a major reduction in subway service would just cause a financial crisis for the system all over again.

“MTA bonds are fare-backed, so there would be a seismic shift if there was a move to decrease subway service and bus service and to encourage people to find other ways to travel,” said Lisa Daglian, the president of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA. Even 24/7 service on every line, but not to every station, would be a shock to the system and region’s finances, Daglian said.

“It’s barely palatable when you have to take a shuttle bus as the agency finishes capital projects on some nights or weekends, but if it’s every weekend forever, what do you do? Move? Buy a car? Change jobs?” she asked.

Fried said that the agency should be more open with the public about the return of 24/7 service through a series of triggers like ridership numbers or economic activity, so that riders know that the agency is committed to bringing everything back, but the MTA has resisted calls to introduce any parameters since the overnight shutdown began.

Feinberg ducked the idea of adding triggers to the restart during her press conference at Fulton Center. Asked by reporters why the agency wasn’t interested in any parameters for the return of overnight service, Feinberg instead focused on a specific opening date instead.

“I just think you don’t want to put out a date and then have to move the goal posts, so we won’t put down a date just to put in a date,” Feinberg said last week.

If the MTA refuses to voluntarily explain what it could take to return 24/7 service, it may find itself required to do so. Coronavirus has wreaked havoc on the legislative calendar, but the Assembly and state Senate have not gaveled out of session yet. That means that State Senator Brad Hoylman’s bill to mandate 24/7 subway service — except during a declared state of emergency — could still wind up being considered by legislators this year. The bill would require public hearings and a vote from the MTA Board before the end of 24/7 service is cemented, rather than just working off of gubernatorial edicts.

“We can’t take away this vital service without a vote of the MTA Board, the NYCT Board, or any public hearing or accountability,” Hoylman said in a statement. “New York City’s subway has operated around-the-clock for more than a century, even in the most financially unstable periods in the city’s history. The COVID-19 crisis is no excuse to eliminate the 24/7 subway service that New Yorkers, including many essential workers, rely on to get home safely.”

Found this article to be interesting. What do you guys think?

Edited by Lil 57

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The trains are still running from 1 to 5am, so it's not as if the lack of late night service actually saves any money. The real issue is the homeless, but that should be fixed through another social program to get them off the trains.

The solution to construction woes is more FASTRAK-style complete shutdowns on select lines, whether it be weekday late nights or entire weekends. Othersise, lagging and poor practice will cause service to degrade to unacceptable levels. As for cleaner subway cars, better utilization of rolling stock would do wonders. Overnight train cars could be scheduled to run on an afternoon peak - late night - morning peak shift and be maintained at the yards during midday hours.

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7 hours ago, Lil 57 said:

As the governor continues to talk up the benefits of shutting the subways down and the MTA refuses to even entertain the idea of adding something like ridership metrics to trigger the return to 24/7 service, it’s fair to wonder — as many activists are — if that service will ever actually return.

“The governor needs to give us criteria for when overnight service comes back,” said Riders Alliance communications director Danny Pearlstein. “He’s talking up these shiny trains, but New Yorkers have built our entire lives around overnight service. So just like he’s established criteria to reopen regions across the state, we need those for restarting overnight subway service so we can go over the merits and argue them if necessary.”

The governor’s most recent comments about overnight subway service are worrying, since overnight service is being pitched as an impediment to lemon-scented subway cars, and there doesn’t appear to be an organized pushback against his messaging.

“You can’t disinfect the cars and clean them the way they’re cleaning them and have around-the-clock service,” the governor said last Monday. Two days later, he told reporters that “those trains are cleaner than they’ve ever been in my lifetime.”

MTA management has shrugged off the governor’s rhetoric, saying that overnight subway service will return. But even that is a subtle rewriting of the history of the shutdown. When the overnight cessation was announced, Foye told reporters, “This is a cessation of service during the pendency of the pandemic” and that 24-7 service would return when the pandemic was over.

But recently, New York City Transit Interim President Sarah Feinberg merely said that it was the MTA’s intention to return to overnight service, instead of guaranteeing it.

“So our intention is to return to 24/7 service at some point,” Feinberg told reporters last week at a press conference at Fulton Center. “We are absolutely going to wait until at least the end of the pandemic, but I think we’ll get there at some point.” (She thinks?)

Cuomo’s praise for the shining results of the end of overnight service have also been boosted by sections of the city’s civil society and even Mayor de Blasio’s MTA Board representatives. Bob Linn, a mayoral appointee to the MTA Board, endorsed the mayor’s late-April suggestion to close the MTA’s end-of-line stations in order to clean trains and remove homeless individuals from the subway system, and told Streetsblog that less subway service would actually be better for the city in the long run.

“We should certainly be trying to get to the endpoint of New York City running full 24/7 service,” said Linn. “It’s a reasonable objective to get to. The question is how? The mayor’s idea is a good middle ground. I don’t know what it will look like, but the idea is to make transit service better in the end.”

So essentially, this part is just back and forth "the subways might be closed... BUT they also might not be closed!"

7 hours ago, Lil 57 said:

Bus service costs $3.70 per passenger in New York, compared to $1.93 per passenger for the subway according to the Federal Transit Administration

can someone elaborate on what this means? assuming these are unsubsidized numbers, I'm confused how subway service can cost $1.93 per passenger

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10 hours ago, Bay Ridge Express said:
17 hours ago, Lil 57 said:

Bus service costs $3.70 per passenger in New York, compared to $1.93 per passenger for the subway according to the Federal Transit Administration

can someone elaborate on what this means? assuming these are unsubsidized numbers, I'm confused how subway service can cost $1.93 per passenger

I, for one, would like to know the breakdown of that $3.70. Where does that money go?

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, Bay Ridge Express said:

can someone elaborate on what this means? assuming these are unsubsidized numbers, I'm confused how subway service can cost $1.93 per passenger

Takes fewer people to operate the subway vs buses:

For buses to carry the 1500 people on a train, you need 15 buses and 15 drivers, but only one train operator and one conductor;

Buses can stall because of stop-and-go traffic from other vehicles - which burns fuel and leads to operator overtime from delays and crush loading. Trains don't have those problems.

Fuel prices and delivery costs vs long-term electricity contracts with ConEd

Higher speeds and more efficient station spacing vs lower speeds and very close stop spacing (even tuned for lower speeds, most buses barely hood 3rd gear long enough to reap any real fuel efficiency bc stop spacing, NYC's 25 mph limit, traffic congestion and there being a traffic signal at practically every intersection with little coordination.

That's just basic level. I'm sure someone could go macro with it (assuming @RR503 ever comes back...).

 

EDIT: I forgot vehicle replacement - buses having to be replaced every 14 years vs 30 years average for trains. 

Edited by Deucey
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Because there's no set reopening phase in which overnight service returns, I do believe this is a ploy to end it permanently.

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2 minutes ago, Collin said:

Because there's no set reopening phase in which overnight service returns, I do believe this is a ploy to end it permanently.

That's one conspiracist view. Mine is two-fold: that it's like when Chris Christie brought up ending PATH overnight to cover up vetoing PA reform and NJT cuts; and/or to cause enough outrage for Cuomo to force the City to increase the funding amount it contributes to (MTA) (which is stupid since owners typically don't pay anything on a triple net lease).

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I absolutely believe it's a ploy to cancel overnight service. Just look at the rhetoric about subway cleanliness lately particularly the framing as cleanliness vs full service.

I would single out the Governor but everyone is engaging in it these days including the media.

Quote

“We can’t take away this vital service without a vote of the MTA Board, the NYCT Board, or any public hearing or accountability,” Hoylman said in a statement. “New York City’s subway has operated around-the-clock for more than a century, even in the most financially unstable periods in the city’s history. The COVID-19 crisis is no excuse to eliminate the 24/7 subway service that New Yorkers, including many essential workers, rely on to get home safely.”

And LOL at this. They just did buddy... and with no plan or metrics for a return.

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The part of the article where it says how the (MTA) refused to point out what it’ll take to restore overnight service tells me one of 2 things:

1) The (MTA) does not have any comprehensive plan to restore overnight service

2) Like everyone else here said; a ploy to end overnight service. 
 

But if the (MTA) really wants to get rid of overnight service, then it’s high time that they start investing in programs like FASTRACK again, maybe even expand the program since ridership is still ....relatively low. 

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Quite honestly, I do not trust Cuomo or Deblasio on ths question as all appointments to the MTA board has to go through Cuomo's office before they will be approved by the legislature including Deblasio's appointments to the MTA Board. Cuomo is looking for Congress to come to his rescue even though I sincerely doubt that the president will sign it .  Cuomo will blame him for the termination of service between 1 am and 5 am as it is all about him.

As far as both Cuomo and .DeBlasio are concerned, they both achieved their goals. Cuomo with having his face in  front in  the media  for three months. Cuomo has been lucky as the phony media never asked him the key questions about why he acted in the way he did with the nursing home patients even though it was known as early as March 25. DeBlasio has got  his wish of destroying his predecessor's legacy which is what was his goal ever since he was elected.

 

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14 hours ago, Bay Ridge Express said:
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Bus service costs $3.70 per passenger in New York, compared to $1.93 per passenger for the subway according to the Federal Transit Administration, which would make something like a nighttime subway schedule dependent on filling the gaps with bus service financially incoherent.

 

can someone elaborate on what this means? assuming these are unsubsidized numbers, I'm confused how subway service can cost $1.93 per passenger

Were you expecting that cost per passenger figure for the subway to be higher or lower? It's been floating around that number for quite some time now....

In any case, with respect to farebox recovery, they're netting 82¢ per subway rider & they're hemorrhaging 95¢ per every bus rider..... That $1.93 (which is less than the $2.75 base fare) is a testament to the sheer amount of people taking the subway.... Being that (local) bus service has been free (FWIW) these past couple months, that $3.70 figure is going to skyrocket (hence the "financially incoherent" remark in the quote there).... I hate to put it like this, but in general, the higher the cost per passenger, the more useless the service is (all things considered).....

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Honestly I prefer for the subway to remain closed overnight for a while if they are actually being smart about doing more G.O's while the subway is closed.

I for one am impressed that they decided to speed up the 42nd St Shuttle overhaul project.

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2 hours ago, Interested Rider said:

As far as both Cuomo and .DeBlasio are concerned, they both achieved their goals. Cuomo with having his face in  front in  the media  for three months. Cuomo has been lucky as the phony media never asked him the key questions about why he acted in the way he did with the nursing home patients even though it was known as early as March 25. DeBlasio has got  his wish of destroying his predecessor's legacy which is what was his goal ever since he was elected.

 

Actually Cuomo has been grilled about the nursing homes deaths by the media in the last few weeks. I remember there was one briefing where he actually got really defensive when he was grilled by a couple reporters over it.

 

On another note the agency is already running out of the $3.9 Billion dollars from the Cares Act which is not even surprising. 

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2 hours ago, Lawrence St said:

Honestly I prefer for the subway to remain closed overnight for a while if they are actually being smart about doing more G.O's while the subway is closed.

I for one am impressed that they decided to speed up the 42nd St Shuttle overhaul project.

I remember reading an article a while ago saying that if the (MTA) went that path, they should keep the subway running on certain nights due to higher ridership. For example, close between 1-5 AM on Sunday through Thursday nights but keep the subway running on Friday and Saturday night since more people are riding late at night coming from bars, shows etc... 

I do agree that it the subway is closed overnight, they should use that time to do work so that there are less service disruptions during the day.

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2 hours ago, B35 via Church said:

Were you expecting that cost per passenger figure for the subway to be higher or lower? It's been floating around that number for quite some time now....

In any case, with respect to farebox recovery, they're netting 82¢ per subway rider & they're hemorrhaging 95¢ per every bus rider..... That $1.93 (which is less than the $2.75 base fare) is a testament to the sheer amount of people taking the subway.... Being that (local) bus service has been free (FWIW) these past couple months, that $3.70 figure is going to skyrocket (hence the "financially incoherent" remark in the quote there).... I hate to put it like this, but in general, the higher the cost per passenger, the more useless the service is (all things considered).....

higher, but @Deucey's explanation made sense

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12 minutes ago, Lil 57 said:

I remember reading an article a while ago saying that if the (MTA) went that path, they should keep the subway running on certain nights due to higher ridership. For example, close between 1-5 AM on Sunday through Thursday nights but keep the subway running on Friday and Saturday night since more people are riding late at night coming from bars, shows etc... 

I do agree that it the subway is closed overnight, they should use that time to do work so that there are less service disruptions during the day.

Exactly. At least this way we can speed up the subway state of repair.

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Posted (edited)

To answer OP's question: if Cuomo wants to end late-night service in an underhanded, behind-the-scenes, non-transparent way, then there is no surprise there.  At all.  The ongoing situation gives him exactly the kind of political cover he needs to be able to get away with it.

Edited by R10 2952

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I don't understand why so many are ok with this attack on subway service and the city as a whole.  People should be fighting Cuomo and his people on this.  Protesting, flooding their offices with angry letters, etc.  Demanding a return to full service, or at least a timeline or criteria to bring it back.

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37 minutes ago, Collin said:

I don't understand why so many are ok with this attack on subway service and the city as a whole.  People should be fighting Cuomo and his people on this.  Protesting, flooding their offices with angry letters, etc.  Demanding a return to full service, or at least a timeline or criteria to bring it back.

Don't know about everyone else in the city but those here in the forum aren't okay with it. But since you bring up that fact that there isn't a criteria or timeline from the (MTA) to bring back overnight service begs to ask the question, 

"Why is there no timeline or phased plan to resume Overnight service in the (MTA)? Is it because there's no plan or is it a ploy to eliminate overnight service?"

On 6/22/2020 at 5:06 PM, Lil 57 said:

So our intention is to return to 24/7 service at some point,” Feinberg told reporters last week at a press conference at Fulton Center. “We are absolutely going to wait until at least the end of the pandemic, but I think we’ll get there at some point.” (She thinks?)

Saying that you have an intention to bring back overnight service does not let anyone know anything meaningful, on the contrary, if Mrs. Feinberg said something along the lines of bringing back overnight service, then following up with some sort of phased plan to bring back overnight service would've been a lot more insightful for New Yorkers. 

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1 hour ago, Collin said:

I don't understand why so many are ok with this attack on subway service and the city as a whole.  People should be fighting Cuomo and his people on this.  Protesting, flooding their offices with angry letters, etc.  Demanding a return to full service, or at least a timeline or criteria to bring it back.

People not making utter fools of themselves doesn't mean they're exactly okay with what's been going on.... There is such a thing as a silent majority....The rah rah shit will only get you but so far anyway....

16 minutes ago, LaGuardia Link N Tra said:
Quote

So our intention is to return to 24/7 service at some point,” Feinberg told reporters last week at a press conference at Fulton Center. “We are absolutely going to wait until at least the end of the pandemic, but I think we’ll get there at some point.

Saying that you have an intention to bring back overnight service does not let anyone know anything meaningful, on the contrary, if Mrs. Feinberg said something along the lines of bringing back overnight service, then following up with some sort of phased plan to bring back overnight service would've been a lot more insightful for New Yorkers. 

I stopped having high expectations for this agency a long time ago.... More power to anyone that doesn't see a statement like that as nothing more than lip service.... Just her use of the word "absolutely" is off-putting to me; nice little stall tactic.....

 

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Agreed with both your statements.  They need to put out guidelines to restore overnight service.  Whether that be a certain reopening phase, treatment or vaccine available, or when technology and procedures can allow for the same level of cleaning while maintaining overnight service, there needs to be something.  I understand not wanting to commit to a certain date, and I don't think they should, but that's different than putting out guidelines and criteria.  

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I think we overlook the obvious. NYC, “ the City that never sleeps “, does go to sleep for most people. 24/7 service is something that we posters take for granted but the average New Yorker has little use for. They think the people who ride the subway between 1 and 5 AM are party goers, up to no good, outerborough residents, the homeless, or some combination of those people I named. Coronavirus, the homeless, and subway cleanliness are their concern. I can almost guarantee that if you questioned them about overnight ridership they might show some concern for the working folks but the hipster types and the party folks would be told to use Uber or Lyft. I’m basing my comments on the issue from a Manhattan perspective and as an RTO employee who actually experienced working the overnights. There’s a reason why the LIRR, MNRR, PATH, NJT, and the other regional agencies have had limited or no overnight service even before Covid 19. I can only speak about Brooklyn but in my teens and twenties the main bus routes I used , B41, B44, B35, and the Downtown Brooklyn routes ran more frequent overnight service than they do today. In my opinion the precedent is already there to reduce overnight subway service to half or hourly trains or eliminate it entirely using health, cleanliness, ridership O&D data, safety, infrastructure work, or some combination of all of those as a reason. Depending on how it’s presented to the public there will be little or no public outcry.  I don’t think any politician would touch the issue either. Just my take. Carry on.

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, Trainmaster5 said:

I think we overlook the obvious. NYC, “ the City that never sleeps “, does go to sleep for most people. 24/7 service is something that we posters take for granted but the average New Yorker has little use for. They think the people who ride the subway between 1 and 5 AM are party goers, up to no good, outerborough residents, the homeless, or some combination of those people I named. Coronavirus, the homeless, and subway cleanliness are their concern. I can almost guarantee that if you questioned them about overnight ridership they might show some concern for the working folks but the hipster types and the party folks would be told to use Uber or Lyft. I’m basing my comments on the issue from a Manhattan perspective and as an RTO employee who actually experienced working the overnights. There’s a reason why the LIRR, MNRR, PATH, NJT, and the other regional agencies have had limited or no overnight service even before Covid 19. I can only speak about Brooklyn but in my teens and twenties the main bus routes I used , B41, B44, B35, and the Downtown Brooklyn routes ran more frequent overnight service than they do today. In my opinion the precedent is already there to reduce overnight subway service to half or hourly trains or eliminate it entirely using health, cleanliness, ridership O&D data, safety, infrastructure work, or some combination of all of those as a reason. Depending on how it’s presented to the public there will be little or no public outcry.  I don’t think any politician would touch the issue either. Just my take. Carry on.

And it makes sense.  The fact the Homeless at one point before they started closing the system down made it impossible for many people to use the subways at all and the likelihood it is the only LEGAL way they can get the homeless off the system without facing massive lawsuits from the ACLU and the like is why they may have NO CHOICE BUT to continue it, at least until some group goes to court to try to force Cuomo and the MTA to return to full overnight service.  The images of the homeless as they were before the overnight shutdowns happened (that included the fire intentionally set that killed an M/M) will IMO make it very difficult to return to overnight service short of a court order forcing it to resume. 

Edited to add:  What you might have to see as a compromise so they can legally remove the homeless from the system is to keep the shutdowns, but in a compromise make the shutdowns 1:45-4:15 AM.  That might be the way to do it.  

Edited by Wallyhorse

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I get both of your points, but I don't see this as something that's negotiable or to be compromised on.  Subway service was always 24/7 until Cuomo unilaterally took it away in the blink of an eye with no plan to bring it back.  That's not something he or any other elected official should be allowed to get away with.

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Posted (edited)
On 6/25/2020 at 10:17 AM, Trainmaster5 said:

I think we overlook the obvious. NYC, “ the City that never sleeps “, does go to sleep for most people. 24/7 service is something that we posters take for granted but the average New Yorker has little use for. They think the people who ride the subway between 1 and 5 AM are party goers, up to no good, outerborough residents, the homeless, or some combination of those people I named. Coronavirus, the homeless, and subway cleanliness are their concern. I can almost guarantee that if you questioned them about overnight ridership they might show some concern for the working folks but the hipster types and the party folks would be told to use Uber or Lyft. I’m basing my comments on the issue from a Manhattan perspective and as an RTO employee who actually experienced working the overnights. There’s a reason why the LIRR, MNRR, PATH, NJT, and the other regional agencies have had limited or no overnight service even before Covid 19. I can only speak about Brooklyn but in my teens and twenties the main bus routes I used , B41, B44, B35, and the Downtown Brooklyn routes ran more frequent overnight service than they do today. In my opinion the precedent is already there to reduce overnight subway service to half or hourly trains or eliminate it entirely using health, cleanliness, ridership O&D data, safety, infrastructure work, or some combination of all of those as a reason. Depending on how it’s presented to the public there will be little or no public outcry.  I don’t think any politician would touch the issue either. Just my take. Carry on.

The ignorance & the taking-for-granted of graveyard shifters has long been a societal thing..... Once upon a time, it was mass produced to the public that the freaks come out at night :(:rolleyes:

3rd shifters are nowhere near as respected near as much as the 1st shifters....

10 hours ago, Wallyhorse said:

And it makes sense.  The fact the Homeless at one point before they started closing the system down made it impossible for many people to use the subways at all and the likelihood it is the only LEGAL way they can get the homeless off the system without facing massive lawsuits from the ACLU and the like is why they may have NO CHOICE BUT to continue it, at least until some group goes to court to try to force Cuomo and the MTA to return to full overnight service.  The images of the homeless as they were before the overnight shutdowns happened (that included the fire intentionally set that killed an M/M) will IMO make it very difficult to return to overnight service short of a court order forcing it to resume. 

Edited to add:  What you might have to see as a compromise so they can legally remove the homeless from the system is to keep the shutdowns, but in a compromise make the shutdowns 1:45-4:15 AM.  That might be the way to do it.  

A non-sequitur if I ever saw one....

The MTA's primary reason for shutting down the subway system during overnight hours wasn't to launch some covert attack on the homeless..... Shutting down the subway system isn't going to get whatever amount of people that didn't use the subway (due to the homeless) during those hours, to up & use the subway....

56 minutes ago, Collin said:

I get both of your points, but I don't see this as something that's negotiable or to be compromised on.  Subway service was always 24/7 until Cuomo unilaterally took it away in the blink of an eye with no plan to bring it back.  That's not something he or any other elected official should be allowed to get away with.

I don't see this as something compromisable either.... AFAIC, figurately speaking, permanently leaving the city half-naked with no subway service during the overnight hrs. is not an option.

Edited by B35 via Church
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