22 THE QUEENS COURIER • APRIL 23, 2020 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
MTA must stay rolling in virus crisis
PUBLISHER & EDITOR
CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
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JOSHUA A. SCHNEPS
ANGELICA ACEVEDO, JENNA BAGCAL, KATRINA MEDOFF,
CARLOTTA MOHAMED, MAX PARROTT, BILL PARRY
CLIFF KASDEN, SAMANTHA SOHMER, ELIZABETH ALONI
JOSHUA A. SCHNEPS
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Losing millions of dollars each week,
the MTA nevertheless continues to provide
subway and bus service for the
essential workers, keeping this city going
while everyone else is stuck at home.
Ridership is down up to 90 percent system
wide during the coronavirus pandemic.
Th e MTA has taken staggering
fi nancial losses and has seen thousands of
its workforce sickened by the virus; more
than 50 staff ers have died as a result.
Yet, the MTA keeps rolling on. Why?
Because the working class depends on it.
How else would health care workers get
to the hospital? How else would a grocery
store clerk get to their shop to keep
the shelves properly stocked? How would
daycare employees get to their centers
to watch the children of other essential
Not everyone can aff ord a car or a
daily taxi or Uber ride to and from work.
Th e city’s mass transit system, for all
its well-documented faults through the
years, is the lifeblood of New York City.
When it shuts down, the city shuts down,
Over the weekend, four New York City
Council members — Robert Holden,
Peter Koo and Eric Ulrich of Queens, and
Mark Gjonaj from Th e Bronx — wrote to
Governor Andrew Cuomo asking that
he order that subways and buses be shut
down during the pandemic due to the
virus’ easy communicability.
Th ey called upon the state to partner
with for-hire vehicles to keep essential
But that plan is seriously fl awed, mainly
because it poses an expensive question:
Who pays for it?
Th e state could make pricey deals with
cab base operators to pay for all the rides
(and the drivers’ expenses) at the taxpayer’s
expense, or negotiate discounted
fares to give essential workers a break —
though it wouldn’t be much of one.
Th e reality is a $2.75 ride on a subway
is still far cheaper than cab rides at
It’s said that “the road to hell is paved
with good intentions.” Th is car-focused
appeal to shut the MTA down certainly
travels that road.
Th e MTA has already dismissed this
plan, and we expect Cuomo to do the
Everyone in New York should appreciate
the sacrifi ces MTA crew members
have made during this pandemic. Th ey
are deserving of our gratitude — and
the state must ensure all crew members
are well-protected and compensated for
Photo by Todd Maisel
The MTA should continue to operate despite recent calls to shut down subways and buses.