UPDATED 7:28 AM PT — Wednesday, May 6, 2020
New York City officials made the unprecedented move to halt overnight subway services to disinfect train cars. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority began the cleaning operation early Wednesday morning.
Officials said they are experimenting with different techniques to better combat the spread of the coronavirus, including anti-microbial treatments to keep surfaces virus-free longer.
“We are looking at ultraviolet light technology that can immediately eradicate viruses, we’re looking at electrostatic sprayers and using foggers to improve the productivity and increase the speed with which we’re working so that we can minimize the disruption to customers,” explained Sally Librera, Senior Vice President of the Department of Subways. “We’re trying out all of these different techniques and we’ll be deploying them over the course of this initiative.”
New York City’s subway system — the nation’s largest — went silent in the early morning hours Wednesday as the normally round-the-clock system shut down for train disinfecting. Service is now being stopped entirely from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. each day. https://t.co/cKBaaBDHV5 pic.twitter.com/HnkgJdK6Dq
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) May 6, 2020
The cash-strapped transportation service has faced a 90 percent decline in ridership since New York began its COVID-19 lockdowns. Commuter advocates have said they hope the efforts lead to bigger changes.