Special Report

Shutdown: The Coronavirus

The vanishing subway

A commuter wearing Latex gloves waits for the Uptown 6 train at Bleeker Street, March 24, 2020. Photo by Thomas Hengge

With businesses shutting down and people now either working from home or not at all due to the spread of COVID-19, the 5.6 million daily riders that rely on the New York City subway system have vanished. Few remain, and the ones that do wear masks and latex gloves in an attempt to protect against contracting the virus. Once crowded train cars are now empty, and the at times overbearing noisiness in the tunnels has become almost deafening silence. This is the New York City Subway system during the city shutdown.

A person walks through an empty 14th Street Union Square, one of New York’s busiest subway stations. March 24, 2020. Photo by Thomas Hengge

Masked commuters wait for their trains to arrive at 34th Street Herald Square, March 24, 2020. Photo by Thomas Hengge

NYPD police officers patrolling the subways ride the 6 train Uptown, March 24, 2020. Photo by Thomas Hengge

A woman waits for the L train at 14th Street and 8th Ave, March 24, 2020. Photo by Thomas Hengge

Subway riders wearing protective masks prepare to board their arriving train at Times Square 42nd Street, March 24, 2020. Photo by Thomas Hengge

A family rides the N train toward Astoria, March 24, 2020. Photo by Thomas Hengge

A man waits for his arriving train at 42nd Port Authority, March 24, 2020. Photo by Thomas Hengge

A lone MTA worker at Hudson Yards pauses to check their phone, March 24, 2020. Photo by Thomas Hengge

A lifeless Hudson Yard Station, March 24, 2020. Photo by Thomas Hengge


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