Coronavirus pushes MTA to reduce servicePosted: Updated:
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority says it is making services changes as it after an 87% drop in subway riders.
For buses, that ridership has dropped 60 percent, according to the MTA.
The MTA says this falls in line with the "New York State On Pause" order that advises New Yorkers to only take public transportation if it is essential.
The MTA says it will continue to disinfect stations as well as work areas for MTA employees and offer hand sanitizer. As of now, the agency says 52 employees have tested positive and some of the staffing changes have caused delays in service.
They say they have medical personnel being sent to check the temperature of workers and they can also target hot spots where there is a large number of symptomatic employees. However, the new plan that starts Wednesday will reduce service.
Now, Monday through Friday service on the B, M and Z lines and some express service will run locally. The plan for buses will start Thursday but still retain 75% of normal service.
They also claim that they are facing a huge financial loss that can only be avoided with federal assistance. The MTA is calling on Congress to pass nearly $25 billion for dedicated funding to help mass transit nationwide.
"We are in the midst of the biggest liquidity crisis ever as a result of a sudden drop in ridership as more people stay home. No organization of our size can rely on internal cuts alone to restore our operating budget. Extending our line of credit is not a long-term solution and gutting our hard-fought Capital budget plan is a nonstarter,” said MTA Chairman Patrick Foye.
Officials say they can monitor crowding on certain trains and decide if the plan needs to be modified but that they haven’t seen any issues so far.