The New York Times on Wednesday reported that the city’s Department of Transportation has decided to phase out the citywide use of light rail in the coming weeks.
The move is part of a broader plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the number of cars in the city by reducing congestion, improving public transit, and building bike lanes.
The Times reported that some light rail systems in Manhattan and Queens are being closed to passengers because they are too clogged, which makes it harder for commuters to get to the store.
The report noted that New York has been on the path to implementing more bike lanes and better pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure in the area, but that the DOT has been slow to implement the measures in the past.
One New York resident, whose name was withheld to protect her privacy, told the Times that the shutdown of the subway system and buses on New York’s West Side, along with a reduction in subway stops and a reduction of parking, will force many of her friends to take public transportation.
“The reason why I take public transit is to go to the office,” the resident said.
“There’s not much room for me.
I have to be a walking, biking, taking public transit person to get from one station to another.”
The Times reports that the transit shutdowns will begin on March 5, when the buses will be stopped for several hours to allow employees to recover.
A spokesperson for the DOT confirmed to the Times on Thursday that the agency will not be shutting down subway service for the foreseeable future, but said that the department will not operate buses for two weeks starting April 8.
DOT said in a statement that the closure of subway service “will not be temporary, but rather will last longer than previously planned, as it requires the removal of cars from the street.”
“During the closure period, buses will run on a 24-hour schedule and on weekends,” the statement said.
According to the DOT, it will not reopen any public transportation services until the department has reviewed its plans and implemented them.