Coronavirus News: MTA launches new 'Essential Connector' app to help essential workers

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- The MTA has launched the 'Essential Connector' app to help essential workers plan their alternative travel to or from work during the overnight subway closure.

Essential workers can use the new app to navigate and take advantage of the MTA's enhanced bus service schedule or book an eligible for-hire-vehicle where bus service is not workable at no cost.

Tapping a station on the new app's map allows the user to see live bus and train departures, including the last train arrivals of the night and available buses nearby.

The app will provide info on current service disruptions and upcoming service changes.

Over time the map will become "personalized," highlighting the stops the user visits most often, making trip planning faster and easier than ever before.

Following feedback, the MTA is already working on a second version of the app.

The Essential Connector app is now available for download at the Apple App Store or on Google Play.

Since May 6, overnight subway service has been suspended from 1 to 5 a.m. as the MTA undertakes the most aggressive disinfecting and cleaning program in agency history.

The MTA has increased bus service on 61 bus lines during this time, including 11 interborough express routes with additional stops (five routes in the Bronx, three each in Brooklyn and Queens), and 13 new routes that normally don't offer overnight service (17 in Brooklyn, 13 in Queens, 10 each in the Bronx and Manhattan) under the new MTA Essential Plan Night Service. Thirty-seven routes have added overnight service. The MTA is closely monitoring ridership to add additional service as needed.

The MTA also launched the "Essential Connector" program. Essential workers are eligible for one free trip in a for-hire-vehicle per night if a bus trip would:
take more than 1 hour and 20 minutes, or
require more than two transfers, or
require a walk of more than a half mile to or from a bus stop.

The MTA "Essential Connector" Call Center, (718) 330-1234, and Essential Connector website, mta.info/overnight, will continue to provide convenient and accessible options for essential workers.

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