400,000 New Yorkers will come back to work Monday. Sounds like a large number but it’s just a tip toe back into the real world. These are mostly people working in construction, manufacturing, and retail that delivers to the curb. When normal daily MTA ridership is 6 million, this is truly just a test.
It’s frustrating to read this article. Bottom line for safety is that everyone should always wear a mask when in public as the likelihood of maintain safe distancing is nil. But the emphasis on that is low.
How the MTA Plans to Protect Riders as the City Reopens
By Dan Rivoli New York City
PUBLISHED 7:36 PM ET Jun. 05, 2020 UPDATED 10:43 AM ET Jun. 06, 2020
NEW YORK – The MTA released a 13-point plan to keep riders safe as the transit system prepares for the first phase of the city’s reopening.
“The MTA recognizes that restoring confidence in the system will be the linchpin of our efforts,” said MTA Chairman Pat Foye.
Starting Monday, full weekday subway service will return, though trains will still shut down overnight from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m.
Buses in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island will run on a full weekday schedule, while bus service in Manhattan will be at 75 percent.
Still, riders may not be able to keep six feet apart from one another.
The MTA will require face coverings for all riders, to help protect them from the coronavirus, a requirement in many transit systems around the world.
Riders told us their fellow commuters need encouragement to cover their noses and mouths.
“It’s catching on a little bit,” said one rider. “But not as much as it should be.”
“People don’t really wear masks anymore,” said another rider. “Now, it’s getting really packed and you have to stand, and people don’t want to stand too close to each other but people are standing close to each other.”
Station crews will hand out two million masks to riders who show up without one. Riders may be turned away if they do not have a face covering.
Other parts of the MTA plan are already in effect, such as disinfecting stations buses and trains each day and testing out new disinfectants and ultraviolet Technology to kill the Coronavirus.
The MTA will also test thermal scans for large groups, sensors that can measure crowds, and a reservation system.
Meanwhile, leaders at the MTA and City Hall have been talking past each other on additional steps to keep commuters safe
Mayor de Blasio wants the MTA to have trains skip stations if platforms are too crowded and block off seats, so riders do not sit next to one another.
Yet, Sarah Feinberg, the intirm MTA President is skepital of the feasability of the Mayor’s hopes, “To suggest that the New York City subway system––as ridership is growing––can allow for social distancing I think suggests an unfamiliarity with the system,” she said. “Or a lack of sincerity.”
To take pressure off the subway system, the MTA is asking the city to add 60 miles of bus lanes.
The city will release its own plan for buses, soon.