Subway Service to Resume 24/7 Service on May 17

Subway Service to Resume 24/7 Service on May 17

By Yehudit Garmaise

   Subway service will resume its 24 hours service on May 17, Gov. Cuomo said this morning.

   Yesterday, US Sen. Charles Schumer said the time to bring back its around-the-clock subway service is now: a year after the subway first closed daily from 1am to 5am for disinfection during the pandemic.

   On Feb. 22, the overnight shutdown decreased from 2 am to 4am. 

   In two weeks, however, the 11,000 New Yorkers, who the Metropolitan Transportation Authority reported last year took the subway late at night and early in the morning, will be able to return to public transit.

    After the NYPD recently surged 500 police officers into the subway stations to address a recent spate of subway stabbings and shovings, BoroPark24 took the subway several times between Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens, every day for a week to investigate its safety.

    Although, the general environment of the subway felt safe, not one uniformed transit police officer was visible throughout the week.

    This morning, BoroPark24 asked Mayor Bill de Blasio where those 500 transit police exactly are and whether they can be more visible both to avert crime and to reassure subway riders. 

    The mayor did not specify the whereabouts of the 500 extra police officers, but he said, “they were doing a very good job.”

    To deal with mentally-ill New Yorkers, the mayor has often said that social workers, not police officers should intervene.

     If New Yorkers spot someone who appears to be mentally ill and is ranting and raving in some way, and is potentially dangerous, what should subway riders do, BoroPark24 asked Mayor de Blasio this morning.  

    “We want people to report a situation,” the mayor said. “Obviously if someone looks like they are in direct danger, we want folks to call 911, but for a typical situation, if there is a homeless person in need of some broader assistance, please call 311. We can dispatch outreach workers immediately.

    "And we know it works. It is not perfect because dealing with folks with mental health challenges can take a lot of time and a lot of nuance, but we do know the outreach workers have had an incredible impact, they have really have helped to get more and more people off the streets, out of the subways, into shelters, and keep them in shelters."

    The mayor, who said the NYPD presence remains strong and that overall subway crime has gone down, did not address the time it would take for social workers and/or police to get to the subway stations in which mentally ill people may pose threats to subway riders.

    Last Monday, prominent labor leaders wrote Mayor de Blasio to ask for an increased police presence on the subways, at least in the short term.  

    “Our members no longer feel safe,” the union leaders said. “The city needs to protect its everyday heroes.”

    After repeatedly asking the mayor for additional police officers, in early January, Sarah Feinberg, the Interim President of the New York City Transit Authority, also wrote the mayor to ask for an increased police presence in the subways.

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