MIDTOWN MANHATTAN — Every day, things are getting busier.
About 1.5 million people have been riding trains and buses daily, and that number will increase as the city enters Phase 1 of reopening on Monday.
It’s a gradual process that allows manufacturing, wholesale trade and construction work to resume. Retail establishments can open only for curbside or in-store pick up.
At a media briefing inside Grand Central Terminal, the MTA discussed a service increase for next week on the subway, buses and railroad.
The action plan includes:
- Increasing service
- Cleaning and disinfecting
- Mandatory face coverings
- Enhanced safety and security
- Employee safety initiatives
- Hand sanitizer dispensers installed in stations
- Floor markings, directional arrows and new signage
- Request businesses adopt staggered hours to spread out peak times
- City and state contributed 2 million masks to be distributed to riders who need one
- Contactless payment coming on-line at more stations and buses will full implementation by the end of 2020
- Data Dashboard will provide ridership statistics and, in the future, new partnerships & technology will show more real-time information
New York City Transit Interim President Sarah Feinberg said the safety of riders and employees is the top priority.
“We’re ramping up service as we head into Phase 1, and we’ll be there every step of the way to ensure customer and employee safety going forward,” Feinberg said. “We’ve been working closely with our partners in labor and I thank the incredible 54,000 men and women of NYC Transit for their unwavering dedication.”
New York City works with the MTA to create bus lanes and provide police through the NYPD. Officials have been working together to plan for the reopening.
MTA Chairman and CEO Pat Foye cited the cooperation that will be necessary for further phases as more people return to work and to the system.
“MTA continues to lead the nation in customer and employee safety and we are doing everything possible to transform our system and operations for the future,” said Foye. “This aggressive plan includes global best practices, input from the business and labor communities and public health officials, and is the product of months of work from the talented team at the MTA. We thank our frontline employees – the heroes moving heroes – whose dedication has been unwavering.”
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio has said he will make himself personally available to assist in monitoring conditions and he will have an announcement about additional bus lanes in the coming days.