June 3, 2020 By Allie Griffin
The New York City subway system will return to full service during the daytime Monday, as the city begins to reopen.
The Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) will increase subway service to its normal hours during the day as approximately 400,000 workers are estimated to return to work beginning June 8. The agency said overnight service will still be suspended.
The MTA said public transportation should only be used by essential workers and people returning to work, which includes construction, agriculture, hunting, manufacturing and wholesale trade industries.
New Yorkers making essential trips, like going to a doctor’s appointment, are also permitted to use bus and subway service, the agency said.
Overnight service from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. will still remain closed. The MTA will continue to use this time to clean and sanitize subway cars and stations. Buses will be operating in full service overnight.
The MTA is taking a number of steps to ensure safety of passengers and prevent the possible spread of the coronavirus.
All subway riders must wear a mask or face covering and the city and MTA will be handing out a total of two million free masks to those without one. Members of the NYPD will also enforce the face mask requirement.
The MTA is also adding hand sanitizing stations and floor markings inside subway stations to encourage social distancing.
Mayor Bill de Blasio also sent recommendations to the state-run agency, calling for it to limit capacity on buses, trains and stations and increase frequency of service during peak hours to avoid overcrowding in subway cars.
Here are some ways for Mayor Bill de Blasio to honor the MTA New York City Transit request to find 3,000 volunteers to hand out masks and hand sanitizer. The following would could also apply to Long Island Rail Road, Metro North Rail Road, New Jersey Transit, PATH and NYC DOT Staten Island Ferry. Every year judges sentence thousands of non-violent offenders to perform many hours of community service. Why not assign some of these individuals the task of helping the MTA NYC Transit distribute masks and hand sanitizer? Do the same for the hundreds of people recently arrested for disturbing the peace, committing arson, braking windows, destroying public property, looting or assaulting police or other law enforcement officers. Virtually all are being released without bail with no consequences for their illegal actions.
(Larry Penner — transportation advocate, historian and writer who previously worked 31 years for the Federal Transit Administration Region 2 NY Office. This included the development, review, approval and oversight for grants supporting billions in capital projects and programs on behalf of the MTA, NYC Transit, MTA Bus, Long Island Rail Road, Metro North Rail Road and NYC Department of Transportation along with 30 other NY & NJ transit agencies).