Coronavirus in New York: How COVID-19 is affecting NYC subways, buses, and more


New York metropolis and state officers have tried to sluggish the novel coronavirus pandemic by shuttering all nonessential companies, closing colleges, and urging residents to hunker down at dwelling. Consequently, ridership has plummeted throughout New York’s mass transit methods—subway, buses, commuter rail, and ferries—as officers scramble to maintain service operating.

However as the town’s COVID-19 circumstances proceed to climb, transit staff have gotten in poor health and service reductions are starting to mount. Now, the MTA is implementing what it calls the Important Service Plan, majorly lowering trains and buses throughout its transit networks.

Well being officers proceed to warning these feeling sick—and even those that aren’t—from leaving dwelling until the state has deemed your job important (well being care, transportation, legislation enforcement, and so forth.) or to choose up groceries and remedy. However when you completely have to depart your house, right here’s what it’s good to find out about COVID-19’s affect on public transit.

This put up shall be periodically up to date with service adjustments.


Beneath the MTA’s Important Service Plan, the authority is slashing subway service by 25 % beginning March 25. The choice to cut back on prepare traces comes as ridership hit a historic low of 87 % in comparison with this identical time final yr and as COVID-19 hobbles the authority’s frontline staff—prepare crews, dispatchers, observe staff. At a Tuesday press convention asserting the information, MTA President Pat Foye mentioned that he doubts a diminished frequency would drive straphangers to cram into prepare automobiles because the system is solely serving 13 % of its typical ridership.

As of March 24, 52 MTA staff have examined constructive for COVID-19. Solely a day earlier MTA officers quickly halted C prepare service because the coronavirus continued to contaminate the authority’s frontline workforce; the C line has since been restored. Service on different traces, nevertheless, is being scaled again.

The system will proceed to run on its typical schedule in the course of the a.m. and p.m. rush, however trains shall be suspended on the B, W, and Z traces—and specific service throughout the system shall be diminished. On the 7 and J traces, specific service has been totally suspended. N trains received’t run specific in Manhattan. The identical goes for the 4, 5, and 6 traces in the Bronx. D trains will make native stops in the Bronx however run specific in Manhattan and Brooklyn, whereas the F line will make all native stops in Manhattan and Brooklyn and proceed to run specific in Queens. The Staten Island Railway will make all native stops, operating each 20 minutes throughout peak hours and hourly in a single day.

Employee shortages have additionally pressured the MTA to chop service on stretches of traces. This contains on the 5 line between Nereid Avenue and East 180 Road in the Bronx (use 2 service as a substitute); between Bowling Inexperienced and Brooklyn Faculty-Flatbush Avenue (use the 4 and 2 service instead); on the A line between Broad Channel and Rockaway Park (use the S shuttle); and E prepare service between Jamaica-179 Road and Union Turnpike (use the F).

All instructed, the novel coronavirus has crippled subway ridership, with the ensuing dive in income prompting MTA officers to hunt a $Four billion aid package deal from the federal authorities. For the common rider, the subway’s new actuality is clear with eerily empty trains throughout sometimes bustling rush hours and staff donning masks and gloves.


As of March 26, the town’s bus community will function at 75 % of its capability beneath the Important Service Plan. The adjustments aren’t anticipated to affect riders in a serious approach not that ridership is down more than 70 % in comparison with the identical time final yr, in response to the MTA.

Different adjustments to the bus system embody rear door boarding; solely these with restricted mobility shall be allowed to board in the entrance to make use of ramps and accessibility seating. The transfer is an try to guard bus drivers from the unfold of the novel coronavirus. Plastic yellow chains are bing used to shut off the entrance part of buses, retaining drivers a secure distance from riders in the course of the metropolis’s pandemic.

Persons are nonetheless anticipated to pay the fare as long as on-board fee containers or Choose Bus Service ticket machines are accessible, says the MTA. Categorical bus clients can board as normal however as a precaution to drivers, they’re barred from sitting in the primary three rows.

Commuter rail

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s commuter rail traces—Metro-North and the Lengthy Island Rail Street—are at the moment working at regular weekday schedules aside from Metro-North’s west of Hudson traces, that are working on a weekend schedule. Beginning March 27, Metro-North will cut back on some service however will proceed to supply hourly trains on the Harlem, Hudson, and New Haven traces; the LIRR will function its typical schedule for a.m. and p.m. peak however will scale pack 65 % of its typical capability. Ticket counters for each traces are closed, as a substitute clients can use ticket merchandising machines or the MTA eTix app.

Citi Bike

Biking is the one approach of getting round that has seen a surge of exercise amid the novel coronavirus outbreak, with Mayor Invoice de Blasio encouraging New Yorkers “to bike or stroll” in early March. The town’s Division of Transportation (DOT) noticed biking visitors over its bridges spike between March 1 and March 10. Citi Bike additionally noticed a 67 % uptick between March 1 and 11, in comparison with the yr prior.

Ridership on Citi Bikes and over city-run bridges has since dipped, however that’s doubtless tied to metropolis and state officers majorly curbing New Yorkers’ actions during the last couple of weeks. Regardless, Citi Bike is working with DOT to put in further docks and stations in busy elements of Manhattan. Staffers proceed to disinfect high-contact surfaces every time they arrive in the Lyft-owned firm’s depot, and at first of every shift, staff are additionally disinfecting surfaces on vans used to move the bikes.


All NYC Ferry routes are working on a modified schedule till additional discover. As of March 23, weekday schedules shall be working with a diminished frequency to account for decrease ridership whereas weekend schedules will stay the identical.

The Staten Island Ferry’s ridership has additionally taken a serious hit, with a 70 % dip in current days. Vessels are working roughly each 20 minutes from St. George and Whitehall terminals in the course of the morning and night rush hours on weekdays and hourly from midnight to five a.m.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here