For the first time in 115 years, the New York City subway system is being closed down overnight so that the trains can be cleaned.
The usual 24-hour system will be suspended between the hours of 1am and 5am so that carriages can be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected to prevent the spread of coronavirus on the network.
The trains had been running a reduced schedule since the end of March but it will now be closed down between those aforementioned hours for the cleaning operation.
While this is obviously good news people can't help but wonder why this didn't happen much sooner, especially in a state that has seen more coronavirus cases than anywhere else in the US.
Around 1,000 New York City police officers will be deployed to the city's 472 stations between the closed hours to make the stations safer and help homeless people who might still be on the trains at the end of the day and take them to a refuge.
After the first night of cleaning Mayor Bill De Blasio said:
Last night, 139 homeless individuals out of 252 engaged by our outreach workers and by the NYPD officers specially trained in homeless outreach, 139 individuals agreed to accept support, accept services, and come in off the streets, come in out of the subways. This number is extraordinary.
Governor Cuomo said on 30 April that the deep clean operation will happen every 24 hours and called it the "most challenging undertakings that the MTA has done."
This is going to be one of the most aggressive, creative, challenging undertakings that the MTA has done. We've never been here before.
To make up for these lost hours on what is the busiest transport system in America, it will increase its bus service by 150 per cent overnight with a free for-hire car rides scheme also being looked at.
It should be stated that according to an interview that the Metropolitan Transport Authority did with AMNY, earlier this year that whenever a train car is taken out of service, it is nightly wiped down by cleaners while the exterior of the train is washed once a weekly. However, a deep clean only takes place five times a year and has to undergo an inspection before it goes back into service.
An enhanced cleaning regime was introduced on London's TFL network in early March, which included cleaners using the same anti-viral fluid used in hospitals on its trains and buses.