New Yorkers are leaving home and hitting the road and because public transportation ridership has remained low, traffic is increasing
The tri-state area is about to face a real crisis, according to Robert Sinclair Jr., of AAA Northeast.
“Traffic in many cases is the worst that it’s ever been,” he said.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have continued to drive instead of getting on subways, trains and buses.
“In many measurements we are seeing traffic is actually greater than pre-pandemic levels,” he said.
Margarita Bengali filled up her car with gasoline along the Deegan Expressway Monday.
“There is a lot of traffic, especially in the morning,” she said. “It’s terrible.”
Last week. the Long Island Railroad held a press conference and asked customers to come back. The LIRR is at 28 percent of its pre-pandemic ridership.
Sam Schwartz, known as Gridlock Sam, said subway ridership is also way down.
“Car traffic is already at 90 percent. Truck traffic, because we are all getting those deliveries at home, is over 100 percent,” the former New York City Traffic Commissioner said.
Lisette Sepulveda, a teacher in the Bronx, said she is not yet ready to take the train.
“Gotta get used to it. I think it’s just a transition. Just takes time. Eventually I will,” she said.
If more people return to their New York City offices this summer and fall and don’t hop back on the train, Schwartz said traffic could become unbearable.
“Imagine if we have more and more cars coming in. We will have gridlock. It will be torturous to drive,” he said.
Schwartz cited a study conducted by his consulting firm that showed there is no direct correlation between public transit and COVID-19 transmission if people wear masks.