Apr 30, 2020 - Health

NYC subway to end 24-hour service for first time for coronavirus disinfection

Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Thursday that the city's subway system will end 24-hour service to disinfect trains overnight amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: It's the first time since the subway began running in 1904 that continuous service will not be offered.

  • Bus service in the city will also stop for disinfection, which will occur from 1am to 5am.
  • Subway historian Andrew Sparberg told the New York Times in 2017 that "there has never been a systemwide, overnight shutdown" — and called the idea "unprecedented" — when authorities mulled cuts in order to perform maintenance.

The state of play: The city remains the country's coronavirus epicenter, and Cuomo said this week that subway ridership has cratered by 90%, according to the New York Post.

  • The subway's operator, the Metropolitan Transit Authority, has had 2,269 workers diagnosed with coronavirus and 59 have died, per NY1.

What they're saying: "I think what we’re doing here in partnership is exactly the right thing to say we’re going to find a way to make our subway system cleaner than it’s probably ever been in its history, honestly. ... [I]t took some disruption to say we’re going to do something during this pandemic we’ve never done before," de Blasio said.

Go deeper: The fight for New York

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Updated 11 hours ago - Health

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

The Department of Health and Human Services moved on Thursday to require that an individual's race, ethnicity, age and sex be submitted to the agency with novel coronavirus test results.

Why it matters: Some cities and states have reported the virus is killing black people at disproportionately high rates. There are gaps in the national picture of how many people of color are affected, since the data has not been a requirement for states to collect or disclose.

Cities' budget woes worsen with increased social unrest

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Cities were already furloughing workers and considering cutting back essential services — including public safety — because of the dramatic drops in the local tax revenue that funds them. Now they're also dealing with turmoil in their streets.

Why it matters: "Unfortunately, the increasing levels of social unrest across the country reallocated efforts and scarce resources away from the former focus of getting state, regional and local economies back to some semblance of normalcy," per Tom Kozlik, head of municipal strategy and credit at HilltopSecurities.

As techlash heats up again, here's who's stoking the fire

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

As controversies around online speech rage against a backdrop of racial tension, presidential provocation and a pandemic, a handful of companies, lawmakers and advocacy groups have continued to promote a backlash against Big Tech.

The big picture: Companies like Facebook and Google got a reputational boost at the start of the coronavirus lockdown, but that respite from criticism proved brief. They're now once again walking a minefield of regulatory investigations, public criticism and legislative threats over antitrust concerns, content moderation and privacy concerns.