Breaking: MTA announces plan to shutter subways at night

By · Published in 2008

This will soon be a familiar sight to New Yorkers. (Photo by flickr user graphicdefine)

Is the City That Never Sleeps finally going to bed?

After 104 years of life with a 24-hour subway, New York City may have to learn how to cope with a transit system that shuts down late at night. Due to the MTA’s budget crisis and looming cuts from Albany, MTA CEO and Executive Director Elliot “Lee” Sander announced today that the MTA will start shutting the entire subway system for a few hours each day.

“I have reviewed our 2008 revenues to date and the projected contributions from Albany,” Sander said during an afternoon press conference, “and as a result, I will recommend to the Board that we move ahead with stopping the trains for a few hours each night.”

According to preliminary plans, during the week, the subways will begin their last runs at 12:30 a.m. and resume service at 5:30 a.m. On the weekends, the last trains will run at 2:30 a.m. with service starting up again at 6:30 a.m.

For decades, New York had resisted calls to close the subway system. In the mid 1990s, transit experts and city planners questioned the need for 24-hour service, and in 1981, an impassioned letter to the editor of The Times explained why the subways had operated 24 hours a day since the inaugural ride in 1904.

But all good things must come to end. With capital construction costs on the rise and the revenues from congestion price no sure thing, the MTA has decided to cut back service in the short term until the economy and their finances recover. “If we implement these service cutbacks now,” Sander explained, “we can can speed up the time frame for our big-ticket capital projects such as the Second Ave. Subway and the Long Island Rail Road East Side Access plan.”

Coming on the heels of yet another fare hike, the news has left New Yorkers, used to getting anywhere at any time, fairly shocked, the promise of 24-hour bus service that mirrors subway lines hasn’t mollified subway rider advocates. “We understand that the MTA is in a financial bind,” Straphangers Campaign guru Gene Russianoff said, “but we’re not prepared to give up our 24-hour subway service. Hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers rely on that subway service to get to work and to live their lives.”

As far as I’m concerned, happy April Fools Day.

Categories : MTA Absurdity

17 Responses to “Breaking: MTA announces plan to shutter subways at night”

  1. Marsha says:

    In the words of The Who, I won’t get fooled again. http://riveraveblues.com/2008/.....tion-2454/

  2. Kid Twist says:

    Nice try 🙂

  3. kb says:

    Oh, you bastard.

  4. Larry V says:

    I’ve never been so taken on April Fools’ Day. Ever.

  5. Damn you.

    That was good.

  6. smokedgouda says:

    too obvious.

  7. Winston says:

    Oh you son of a…

    And after being tricked three other times today!!! I have no learning curve.

  8. Todd says:

    You know, I knew before I clicked into your site that this would be an April Fools post. Even with that knowledge, it still felt real.

    Also, if The MTA reads this and takes it as good advice, I’m blaming you! 🙂

  9. StationStops says:

    OMG I almost blogged this.

    Todd’s right, don’t give MTA any ideas.

    I wish we could just but NYC transit back up for bids to a new company.

  10. Pjason325 says:

    Very funny!

  11. Fred Camino says:

    HAHA! What’s great is this is the EXACT OPPOSITE of the prank I pulled over at MetroRiderLA:

    Metro Introducing 24-Hour Rail Service On Weekends Starting in May

    You New Yorkers have it really hard, ya know?

  12. R2 says:

    OMG! My heart stopped! Damn April Fools!

    Considering all the clubbing and bar-hopping I do, this would seriously curtail my nighttime economic activities.

  13. The Boss says:

    My friend, LOL, nice April Fools prank, and I just heard London and Tokyo are starting to run trains round the clock.

    If this was real, New Yorkers and the traveling public will give the MTA their 2 cents. There is no physical way to close all 468 subway station at 12:30am weeknights and 2:30am on weekends. Technocially, that’s imposible.


  1. […] year, on April 1, I ran a post with the headline “MTA announces plan to shutter subways at night.” At the time, any plan to close or reduce subway capacity seemed so far from the minds of […]

  2. […] on the state of our subways. Two years ago on April Fool’s Day, I wrote about how the MTA had just announced plans to shutter the subway at night. It seemed just plausible enough to rope people in but not realistic enough for the MTA to […]

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