A full shutdown of the subway system proved to be hard to manage early Wednesday when the MTA made good on Gov. Cuomo’s order to close it for four hours each night — and many were left frustrated by the drastic decision.
The 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. closure forced more than 2,000 confused homeless people onto streets and buses — a move the governor on Tuesday said was necessary in order to disinfect the city’s vast transit network.
At 12:55 a.m., 20 sleepy straphangers staggered off a train at Brooklyn’s Flatbush Ave. – Brooklyn College station on the No. 2 line. A group of six cops told them to leave.
“They didn’t make any announcement on the train,” yelled Tyrone Batte, 35, who struggles with drug addiction and spends many of his nights on trains. “I need help. I’m not going to a shelter. I went five years ago. I got robbed. People tried to rape me three times. It’s like prison with fewer guards.”
Batte declined help from a group of six homeless outreach workers on the subway platform and joined eight of his fellow vagabonds upstairs aboard a B44 bus that soon became cluttered with passengers’ trash bags of belongings and a granny cart.