Reopen News: Subway and bus service updates in New York City

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The MTA has resumed regular weekday service as New York City with precautions in place to ensure the safety of essential workers and all New Yorkers.

As New York City entered Phase 3 reopening on July 6, average weekday ridership on subways and buses reached a combined total of more than 2.1 million - 1.1 million on subways and more than 1 million on buses. While a significant increase since the start of the pandemic, the figure represents a decline of 74% from normal weekday ridership levels of 7.6 million combined riders - 5.5 million on subways and 2.1 million on buses. LIRR ridership is down 80% from normal levels and Metro-North is down 85%.

The MTA has prepared its system for further ridership gains through increased service, unprecedented, around-the-clock cleaning and disinfecting, and by requiring all customers and employees wear masks.

With mask compliance at 95%, the MTA continues to distribute 2 million masks that were contributed by the State and the City.

MTA has deployed a dozen vending machines at 10 subway stations allowing customers to buy COVID-19 personal protective equipment (PPE). The new machines, part of a pilot program, offer reusable face masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, and sanitizing wipes. More information is available here.

The MTA's 13-point action plan during the reopening includes:
-Increased service
-Unprecedented cleaning and disinfecting
-Mandatory face coverings
-Enhanced safety and security
-Nation-leading employee safety initiatives
-Innovative cleaning solutions
-Hand sanitizer, which will be in stations across the system (The MTA will also distribute mini bottles)
-Floor markings, directional arrows and new signage
-Staggered Business Hours
-2 million mask contribution from state, city
-Contactless payments
-New partnership and technology to make system safer
-Data dashboard to provide riders with daily ridership numbers

Subways and Buses:

Subways returned to regular weekday service, but overnight subway closure from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. remain in effect.

There are new markings and signage with directional cues to help maintain social distancing:

Bus service levels have been operating at regular weekday/closed school service levels in Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens and Staten Island since New York City's Phase 1 reopening on June 8. In Manhattan, the MTA is increasing service to 90 on four Select Bus Service routes, the M15, M23, M34 and M60. These increases raise the overall Manhattan bus service level to 80% of normal, from 75% as of the Phase 1 reopening on June 8.

The MTA is also urging riders who can travel outside peak hours (after 9 a.m. and before 3 a.m.) to do so.

The city has implemented 20 total new miles of busways and bus lanes that will serve nearly 750,000 daily rides, with faster travel and more frequent buses designed to increase social distancing.

The overnight closures do not affect the Staten Island Railway, which will continue running during those hours.

The MTA will continue to run enhanced bus service between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. to help get essential workers where they need to go. If bus service is not an option, essential workers can use the Essential Connector program.

Check for updates.

Staten Island Ferry

Additional Staten Island Railway service resumed on July 6 including express trains for the first time since the essential service plan was implemented.

Morning rush hour service is every 15 minutes instead of every 20 minutes.

Staten Island Railway trains are scheduled to coordinate with Staten Island Ferry departures and arrivals.


The LIRR has increased train service to 90% of its pre-pandemic schedule.

Metro North

New schedules are in effect as of July 6 for the Pascack Valley Line and Port Jervis Line. On these lines, peak fares are being collected on peak trains.

East of Hudson, Metro-North continues to provide 63% of normal service levels with the schedules that went into effect on June 22.

More LIRR and Metro-North information is available here.


NJ Transit is running a normal weekday rail and bus service.


abc7NY Phase Tracker:

COVID-19 Help, Information. Stimulus and Business Updates

What's Open, What's Closed
Reopening New York State
Reopening New Jersey
Reopening Connecticut

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on coronavirus

Total count of NYC, Long Island COVID-19 cases based on patient address
Copyright © 2020 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.