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Coronavirus Crisis

Tuesday Headlines: The City That <s>Never</s> Sometimes Sleeps Edition

12:04 AM EDT on May 5, 2020

When this thing is over, we never want to see this logo again.

Today is the last full day of 24-hour-a-day subway service. Starting at 1 a.m. tomorrow (what most people call Tuesday night, especially if they're just trying to get home from work or get home drunk or both), the entire subway system will close for four hours a day of early morning cleaning.

The MTA held a conference call with reporters on Monday, and it was clear from the line of questioning that no one trusts the agency's promise to restore full 24-7 service after the pandemic. But the agency maintains that New York will one day once again be the City that Never Sleeps (Or If It Does, It Does it On The Subway).

Meanwhile, Guse of the Newsuh (who had to wrangle a cat during the Zoom call) focused on the MTA's promise of police saturation during the closing hours. "The police presence in the subways during the period ... is going to be at an unprecedented level,” said MTA Chairman Pat Foye.

The Post didn't bother to write up the conference call, but reporter David Meyer (corona 'stache photo available upon request) did ask officials about a photo of an MTA worker cleaning around a homeless person. "We do not ask our workforce or our cleaners to engage in social services or to engage with someone who isn’t interested in moving or doesn’t want to move,” Interim New York City Transit President Sarah Feinberg told the shaggy scribe.

Mark Hallum of amNY highlighted the massive expansion in overnight bus service, which will include free rides, even on express buses.

And we would be remiss if we didn't mark the historic occasion by sharing a link to Life in a Blender's beloved 2002 tribute to overnight subway cleaners, "Mobile Wash Unit." Take it away, Don!

There was other news yesterday, of course.

    • Could this be the first time Streetsblog and the police union occupy common ground? On Monday, Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch said cops should not be in the business of enforcing social distancing (NY Post). We wonder if Lynch knows that liberal Council Member Brad Lander said the same thing a day earlier?
    • Great scrappy newspaper minds think alike. We'd been working on our story about the low COVID-19 infection and fatality rate in Asian communities, but The City popped its version up a few hours before we did (darn!). Both are worth reading.
    • Another victim of COVID-19: The city's plan to make roads safer and reduce carbon emissions by reforming the private carting industry has been put on hold due to the pandemic. We hope it's temporary! (Waste Dive)
    • The New York Times printed a few dozen reader submissions about the "bright side" of the corona pandemic. Not a single entry mentioned cars. But plenty mentioned biking.
    • And, finally, check it out: Highways officially have bike lanes now. (WhatIsNewYork on Instagram)

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