B and Z trains are back on track tomorrow, but New Yorkers can’t get the W just yet.
The MTA will return some subway lines Wednesday that have been cancelled for weeks due to worker shortages caused by the COVID-19 winter surge.
The B and Z trains will hit the rails for the first time in 2022 starting on Jan. 19 after the Metropolitan Transpiration Authority suddenly pulled those two routes and the W line ahead of the morning rush on Dec. 30 due to transit staff calling out sick en masse amid the outbreak of the Omicron variant.
The agency is also bringing back express service to the 6 and 7 trains, which were cut on Jan. 3, along with rush hour A trains to Rockaway Park for the first time since Dec. 27, but the W train is still out for the time being, MTA officials Tuesday.
“Fortunately, the number of people unavailable due to COVID in the last few days has diminished, therefore we are able to put all but one of the previously suspended subway lines back in action,” said MTA acting chairperson and chief executive officer Janno Lieber in a statement.
The suspended lines were all on routes covered by other train lines — W line commuters can still take the N, Q, and R trains instead — and MTA maintained at least 90% service across all its 472 stations, according to the head of subways.
“It is a credit to the subways team, those who work behind the scenes and on the rails, that we are able to navigate the surge and hope to restore service to the W line soon as well,” said Demetrius Crichlow in a statement.
The agency went from 14% of its train operator and conductor workforce being sick with COVID to 7%, Lieber added, but did not specify how many are currently out sick at the 67,000-strong MTA, which is one of the few workforces left in New York City without a vaccination requirement.
During the recent Omicron wave, MTA officials have repeatedly shied away from giving precise infection rates among its ranks or how many workers called out sick due to the virus.
More than one-in-five, or 21%, of subway operators and conductors were out sick, amounting to some 1,300 workers, the New York Times reported on Jan. 6.
An MTA spokesman did not immediately provide current stats on worker infections and shortages.