Coronavirus News: MTA bus service will be free during subway cleaning shutdown

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Bus service will be free during the overnight hours the subway system is shut down for cleaning, with the MTA promising "robust nighttime bus service, essential bus service" that they are prepared to "supplement as we go."

The buses will be free from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. and will be "rear-door boarding only," MTA Chairman and CEO Pat Foye said.

Buses will be the main replacement from the subways, and they will run with the same frequency as the shutdown train lines. They will also be supplemented with taxis, dollar vans and livery vehicles for essential workers whose travels are not along bus routes.

The workers will receive two free trips on for-hire vehicles each night, and essential workers will be able to call a hotline to request a ride.

Foye said that during the shutdown, everyone will be required to leave all subway stations, mandatory beginning at 1 a.m. Wednesday when the shutdown begins.

He said that will result in many more homeless people being addressed and potentially receiving services.

Additionally, the transit agency will be able to test and explore disinfecting techniques, including ultraviolet lights and antimicrobial agents, during that four-hour timeframe.

This is believed to be the first time the subway has had a regularly scheduled system-wide halt in the 52-year history of the MTA.

Foye said 98 MTA workers have died from coronavirus and that the pace of hospitalizations and fatalities appears to be slowing among employees.

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