Commuters fl ock back to mass transit
BY MARK HALLUM
Mass transit ridership seems to
be healing after months of fear from
It only took the fi rst day of Phase I
of reopening for 800,000 more riders
came back to the subways, an 17% increase
from the week prior.
The seeming likelihood that commuters
are making a B-line back
to public transportation could dispel
fears that people may avoid the
trains and buses for a prolonged period
of time. Interim New York City
Transit President Sarah Feinberg
said she was optimistic from her outings
on the subway that riders were
returning with “confi dence.”
“There was a real spring in people’s
step, there was a bustle about
the system. It was obviously a beautiful
day, it was a good day to be out.
But I think I was in six stations and
seven trains and I feel like people
were optimistic and glad to be back,”
Ridership during peak hours is
up by 18% to 22%, Feinberg said, and
bus ridership is up 13%. Manhattan
subway ridership was up 20% alone.
But while the MTA now has hand
sanitizer dispensers in stations and
BRONX TIMES R 8 EPORTER, JUNE 12-18, 2020 BTR
Photo by Mark Hallum
other precautions, Feinberg was cautious
to say things were back to normal
Overnight closures between 1 and
5 a.m. will continue for the time being
with Feinberg taking a page from
Governor Andrew Cuomo in telling
reporters that the epidemic does not
have a set end date.
“We get better, more effective and
more effi cient at cleaning all the
time, so our plan is to return to 24-
hour service at some point. We are
defi nitely going to wait until the end
of the pandemic,” Feinberg said.
Buses will continue to do reardoor
boarding with no fare, as well
as social distancing to protect drivers,
but she said the agency would
prioritize reinstating the fare and
“There’s no question, we have to
do that,” Feinberg said.
Last week, the MTA reversed
course on a measure taken in March
– the Essential Service Plan – to reduce
service by 30% due to staff being
out sick from COVID-19. Full
service on all but 5 line was fully restored.
This story fi rst appeared on amny.
of Throggs Neck
Kenneth P. Gonoud D.C.