end of 24/7 subway in New York?
in New York, on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2011. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

The newly released Regional Plan Association report recommends ending New York City’s 24 hour, seven day a week service.

Subway platform at nightBefore you blow up in a panic, a couple things:

  1. The recommendations by the RPA are not binding.
  2. The recommendation is to shut down weekday 24/7 service, not weekend.

Now that we’ve gotten those two out of the way, this recommendation is quite powerful. This is only the fourth ever RPA regional plan in the history of the New York City’s existence. The previous ones were released in 1929, throughout the 1960s, and 1996. The last report included details about finally starting the Second Avenue subway line and developing transit access to the Far West side of Manhattan, both of which have since been realized.

So the recommendations are quite powerful and carry a bunch of weight. For nightlife, particularly in a city such as New York, transit access can have a huge impact on business. The plan does state that weekday ridership between 12:30 AM and 5 AM on weekdays is only about 85,000 or around 1% of total ridership and that the service could be supplemented by a beefed up bus service (although anyone who’s ever taken an MTA bus will justifiably be skeptical). The time would be used to bring a faster pace to the much needed repairs currently ongoing in the more than 100-year-old system.

Subway traveling towards Manhattan in the eveningThe plan also presents a number of other ideas that could be a boon to nightlife, such as more subway extensions, congestion taxes to reduce traffic in the city’s core areas, and improving the flow of regional rail into and through the city, potentially expanding the city’s nightlife appeal to further out suburban communities in Long Island, upstate New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.

But it’s the end of 24/7 service that’s drawing the most attention. Should it happen? Will it happen? Let us know what you think on Twitter.


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