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MTA Reduces Subway, Bus and LIRR Service As Ridership Numbers Plummet

G train at Court Square (via Wikimedia Commons)

March 26, 2020 By Christian Murray

The MTA has cut service as ridership has reached historic lows as most people– with the exception of essential workers– are staying home.

MTA Chairman and CEO Patrick Foye announced Tuesday that the agency was implementing the MTA Essential Service Plan, a reduced schedule that is in line with plummeting ridership. The changes to bus and subway schedules went into effect Wednesday, with the LIRR schedule changing Friday.

“As you know, as the pandemic has continued to intensify across New York, ridership has sunk to never-before-seen lows,” Foye said. He noted that subway ridership is down 87 percent and bus ridership by about 70 percent. Metro-North and LIRR ridership levels are down by a similar amount.

“Our top priority continues to be to ensure that these essential workers — first responders and others — can do their jobs,” he said. “In consultation with these groups, we have made a decision today to implement what we are calling the MTA Essential Service Plan to ensure that that continues to happen.”

Subways are now operating at 75 percent of their normal service under the new plan. The MTA is maintaining its morning and evening peak service, although some lines will no longer be running Monday through Friday, such as the B, W and Z.

Starting Friday, March 27, the Long Island Rail Road will be operating at 65 percent of normal daily service. Morning and evening peak hour service will be maintained.

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