COVID NYC Update: MTA Resumes 24/7 Subway Service, Outdoor Dining Curfew Ends Monday

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NEW YORK CITY (WABC) – New York will once again return to the city that never sleeps this week, as the MTA resumes overnight subway service and restaurants brace for the midnight curfew to drop outside.

The night metro service officially started at 4 a.m. on Sunday morning, meaning that the 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. metro closure will be bypassed from Monday morning for the first time since May 6, 2020.

With the return of subways to 24/7 service, the MTA has launched a new initiative called the #TakeTheTrain, #TakeTheBus campaign aimed at increasing ridership as the city recovers from the pandemic.

“The city’s subways and buses as well as our commuter trains are cleaner than ever and ready to welcome our passengers with safe and reliable service,” said Patrick Foye, President and CEO of MTA. “We can’t wait to see the folks in the system again.”

The MTA saw a 90% decrease in ridership during the coronavirus pandemic and had stopped trains overnight for a thorough cleaning.

More than two million people took the metro in a single day last month – even less than the five million the system was carrying before the pandemic began. Masks are always needed underground.

The question is: is all of this enough to lure people into the metro, especially with growing concerns about violent metro attacks? Some are not convinced.

“There are times when I’m the only one in the car and I have to say I feel very, very uncomfortable,” said metro driver Jacqueline.

Foye says the subways are safe, but it could be better.

“The metro is safe, but not as safe as it can and should be, and that is why we have renewed our request from the mayor and town hall for additional resources,” Foye said.

At least 600 to 800 more NYPD officers, he says. But crime is not the only concern.

“If they’re open 24 hours a day, how are they going to keep it clean and stop the spread because we took it this morning and it’s not six feet apart,” Nishanee Hassan, resident of Queens.

MTA officials say the clean-up will be done once the trains arrive at the last stop.

READ ALSO: 3 accused in the frenzy of the metro; NYPD is looking for an additional suspect

Meanwhile, restaurants will be able to remove the midnight curfew for outdoor dining starting Monday.

On Wednesday, restaurants will be able to increase their capacity to 100%.

Then, in two weeks, the midnight curfew will end for indoor meals.

The past 14 months have been very difficult for restaurants in the city, with the New York State Restaurant Association predicting that nearly half of the restaurants in the city will not survive the pandemic.

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