Tuesday’s Headlines: Subway Shutdown Edition

Mayor de Blasio even took the subway yesterday! Photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office
Mayor de Blasio even took the subway yesterday! Photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office

The big story yesterday really was a tiny little story: Starting next Monday, instead of being shut down for four hours early every morning, the subway will only be shut down for two hours early every morning. Everyone covered it:

  • The Daily News rightfully reminded its readers that the 1-to-5 a.m. shutdown that started in May at Gov. Cuomo’s behest was only partly to disinfect the trains, but also to harass the homeless.
  • The Post played it as a safety issue for riders (from criminals).
  • Streetsblog played it straight.
  • The Times had kind of a reverse, inaccurate lede: “Subways in New York will soon resume running longer into the night…” (first of all, the shutdown is in the morning, but second of all, the story is that the unprecedented shutdown is marginally less bad, not, “Great news, everyone, the subway is better than ever!”). The Wall Street Journal took the right tone: “New York City Subway Has Some Overnight Service Restored.”

Meanwhile, in other subway news, Mayor de Blasio rode the train from 86th Street to City Hall (flanked by cops). And Rigoberto Lopez, the man accused of stabbing four people — killing two — in the subway, was held without bail (NYDN, NY Post). But the Post had an exclusive with Lopez’s brother, who claimed the mentally ill man, who had been hospitalized twice previously, hasn’t been able to meet face-to-face with his caseworker because of COVID (which is a problem that no amount of cops is going to solve).

Meanwhile, a man was pummeled with a bike lock by an assailant inside Grand Central Terminal (NYDN) — and though subway crime remains down, the MTA is back to its plan to hire 500 more cops (NY Post). The Post doubled-down on its support for more cops underground.

In other news from an otherwise slow Presidents Day:

  • A 12-year-old’s bike was stolen in a Queens subway station. (NY Post)
  • A car wash attendant ran over and killed a woman as she waited for her own car. Cops said he “lost control” of the vehicle (NYDN). The Post called it “a freak crash” (though later, the NYPD said the attendant was drunk, so he was charged with vehicular manslaughter and DWI).

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BRT, Rail, and New York City: A Conversation With Walter Hook

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Perhaps no one knows the ins and outs of BRT better than Walter Hook. As director of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, Hook has advised cities on four continents about BRT implementation, including Jakarta's seven-corridor network, the first full-fledged BRT system in Asia. Streetsblog caught up with Hook -- in between trips to Cape Town and Mexico City -- for an email Q&A about why New York City needs Bus Rapid Transit, common misconceptions of BRT in America, and what will make BRT succeed here.