With New York City having fully vaccinated more than 450,000 people and a vaccine surge expected by April, it’s all too easy to start envisioning the good-old-days. But many aspects of city living may never quite be what they were. To account for that, the MTA has predicted a “new normal” ridership that will stabilize “in 2023 and 2024 between 80% and 92% of pre-pandemic levels,” according to a press release. And though the agency has staved off subway and bus service cuts through 2022, they warn that they may still eventually make cuts to adapt to reduced ridership.
Photo: Patrick Cashin / MTA New York City Transit
Overnight subway service in New York City will partially resume this month following more than nine months of closure. Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced on Monday plans for a phased reopening of the subway starting February 22, which includes closing the system for cleaning from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. instead of from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. Cuomo last May ordered the closure of 24/7 service, a first for the system, as part of a rigorous coronavirus disinfection plan and an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Jerry Seinfeld, Edie Falco, Cam’ron, Debbie Mazar, Whoopie Goldberg, Fran Lebowitz–these are just a few of the 25 New York celebrities whose voices were recorded by the MTA for a new set of subway PSAs. The announcements, which begin today, are meant to bring humor and some good old-fashioned NYC swagger to the subway as the city begins its recovery. The project was done in collaboration with Nicolas Heller, a talent scout who has gained notoriety for his popular Instagram account New York Nico. “This was such a dream project and I wanna give a huge thanks to my team who helped make this whole thing happen in less than 6 weeks with $0,” he wrote in a post today.
Photos courtesy of Marc A. Hermann/ MTA unless otherwise noted
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Monday unveiled a memorial dedicated to the 136 employees who have died from the coronavirus since March. The tribute, named “Travels Far: A Memorial Honoring Our Colleagues Lost to COVID-19” after a poem by Tracy K. Smith commissioned for the project, includes an eight-minute video featuring photographs of the frontline MTA workers who lost their lives to the virus. The video will run on 138 three-panel digital screens at 107 subway stations across the city starting Monday.
Congress on Sunday reached an agreement on a $900 billion emergency coronavirus relief package, roughly nine months after the first stimulus was signed into law. The package is expected to provide one-time direct payments of $600 to most taxpayers and provide an additional $300 per week to those unemployed. In some positive news for New York, the stimulus deal also includes $4 billion to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Save Our Stages bill, which provides funding for live performance venues, comedy clubs, and Broadway. Congress could vote on the package as early as Monday.
A jet snow thrower in action via MTA’s Flickr
With a forecast of up to 18 inches of snow, Winter Storm Gail is expected to bring more snow to New York City this week than the five boroughs saw all of last year. In response to the nor’easter, expected to hit Wednesday afternoon, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has activated its 24/7 command center to monitor the storm. The agency is prepared to clear subways, buses, and commuter railways of snow thanks to its fleet of super-powered snow throwers, jet-powered snow blowers, and specially designed de-icing cars to tackle the icy mess.
A state lawmaker is calling for a new surcharge on packages delivered in New York City as a way to raise money for the cash-strapped Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Assembly Member Robert Carroll revived a bill he first introduced last February that would impose a $3 fee on all online delivery transactions, except for essential medical supplies and food. Facing its worst financial crisis in history because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the MTA has said without the $12 billion in aid from Congress it has requested, subway and bus service could be cut by 40 percent.
Subway and bus service could be cut by 40 percent, thousands of workers laid off, unlimited MetroCards eliminated, and fares increased under a budget proposed by the Metropolitan Transportation on Wednesday as the agency faces the worst financial crisis in its history. The grim 2021 budget comes as the MTA faces a tremendous deficit amplified by the coronavirus pandemic, with no federal relief in sight. The agency on Wednesday projected a deficit of $15.9 billion through 2024.
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. “City Hall Subway Station, New York” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1906.
The Interborough Rapid Transit Subway, or IRT, was the first subway company ever in New York City. The company formed as a response to elevated train lines springing up around the city–it was time to go underground and build a rapid transit railroad to help combat street congestion and assist development in new areas of New York, according to NYCsubway.org. And so 116 years ago, on October 27th, 1904, the first IRT subway line opened with the City Hall station as its showpiece. It’s no overstatement to say that after this date, the city would never be the same. And the day was one to remember, with pure excitement over the impressive feat of moving the city’s transit system underground.
Photo: Marc A. Hermann / MTA New York City Transit on Flickr
Nearly a quarter of New York City subway and bus workers reported contracting the coronavirus, according to a survey released on Tuesday. Of the roughly 650 Transport Workers Union Local 100 members surveyed as part of a pilot study led by New York University, 24 percent said they had the virus at some point since the start of the pandemic. The new report suggests more transit workers had the virus than previously thought. In May, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said about 14 percent of transit workers tested positive for antibodies.