MTA Reduces Subway Cleaning Time to 2am to 4pm, Requests 1,000 Additional Police Officers
By Yehudit Garmaise
Subway riders report in survey after survey that they are most concerned about feeling safe from both COVID and crime, said Sarah Feinberg, the Interim President of the New York City Transit Authority, today during Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference.
While the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) subways have been shut down since April 30 from 1am to 5am for intensive sanitization to reduce COVID transmission, as of Feb. 22, Feinberg announced that the MTA will reduce those hours for subway cleaning from 2am to 4am, which the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other health agencies still recommend.
“The subways are the cleanest the subways have ever been,” said Gov. Cuomo, which called increased cleaning regimes of the subway stations to be “a silver lining” of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gov. Cuomo explained that health officials do not believe that the COVID virus is as easily transmitted on surfaces as was once thought, but the virus may be able to be transmitted on surfaces, which must remain clean and sanitized for everyone’s health and safety.
To address the increasing shovings and stabbings that have taken place in trains and on subway stations, Feinberg requested 1,000 more police officers in addition to the 500 additional police officers that Police Commissioner Dermot Shea ordered over the weekend.
If the MTA is given the an additional 1,000 police officers in addition to the 500 Commissioner Shea ordered, the MTA’s police force would reach 4,000, which is a number the MTA has not had since 1995, when the subways were starting to become safer.
“The crime sprees this weekend were horrifying and shocking,” said Feinberg, who noted that she has requested additional police officers in subway stations 30 times in the past 13 months. “I want to personally assure every customer that the safety of the MTA is our priority.”
The governor stressed the importance of bringing back the city’s subway system.
“If we are going to get economy back, we have to address the crime problem on the subways,” Gov. Cuomo said. “If riders don’t feel safe, they are not going to get on subways and go to restaurants and go to business.
“Not to mention that the MTA has to run because this is how essential workers get to work.”
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