(NY DAILY NEWS) – Imagine New York without its 24/7 subway system?
The experts at the Regional Plan Association did, and they believe it’s key to building a reliable transit system for a growing metropolitan area.
The radical idea to snuff the pride of New York is one of dozens of recommendations in the research group’s latest regional plan — the association’s fourth region-wide blueprint since 1929 — being released Thursday.
“We think that the days of the 24/7 subway system in New York are coming to an end,” RPA president Tom Wright told reporters of the “controversial” idea.
RPA is unveiling its full plan Thursday at The New School, with elected and government officials from around the region.
Officials with the RPA acknowledge that politicians would surely slam some of the proposals. But together, the proposals could add nearly 4 million people and nearly 2 million jobs to the region by 2040. But sticking with “business as usual” would cut those numbers nearly in half.
To that end, RPA believes that closing the subway overnight from Monday through Thursday will help bring the subway system into the 21st Century — in 15 years.
Instead, RPA officials believe that the MTA can add shuttle buses to handle thousands of commuters each night.
“The cost of that, not just in terms of dollars but in terms of performance of the system the other 20 hours of the day, is no longer worth it,” Wright said.
The MTA did not return request for comment.
Riders and transit experts had a Bronx cheer for the tone-deaf idea of nixing overnight subway service in a city that never sleeps.