Restoring the 24/7 Subway: Examining the Shutdown’s Effects on Riders and Workers
In May 2020, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo made the unprecedented decision to close the New York City subway each night, ostensibly to allow crews time to disinfect trains and stations. As a result, tens of thousands of BIPOC and low-wage essential workers have had to seek other means to reach overnight jobs at airports, hospitals, pharmacies, and construction sites. The forced removal of people seeking shelter in the system each night highlighted the need to address New York’s acute housing crisis. And incidents of violence and harassment against transit workers have led transit labor leaders to call for measures to ensure their physical safety.
Many of the issues elevated by the overnight closures will persist even if 24/7 service resumes. What policies will address the long-term needs of New Yorkers who shelter in the subways? How will elected leaders and the MTA keep riders and workers safe from assault and harassment while avoiding racist over-policing of Black and brown communities? How can the MTA minimize the risk of COVID transmission while operating overnight?
This panel will bring together experts from advocacy, labor, and housing to explore the effects of the shutdown on riders and workers. Panelists will discuss how the governor, mayor and MTA leadership can address these problems as the agency navigates recovery from the pandemic.
Senator Leroy Comrie, Chair, Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions
Zachary Arcidiacono, Chair Train Operators, RTO, TWU Local 100
Stephanie Burgos-Veras, Organizing Manager, Riders Alliance
Giselle Routhier, Policy Director, Coalition for the Homeless
Jose Martinez, Transportation Reporter, THE CITY
This webinar will be closed-captioned.