No announced service cuts to MTA system as COVID-19 disrupts daily lives of New Yorkers

Photo by Mark Hallum

As Governor Andrew Cuomo has synced measures to stop of the spread of COVID-19 with New Jersey and Connecticut, one change that has not been broached for commuters are service cuts to MTA trains and buses.

Despite an aggressive cleaning effort similar to that instated by Governor Phil Murphy, restrictions on business operations and bans on gatherings above 50 have not triggered a decision from the MTA to cutback on services.

Metrics last week showed an 18% decline in ridership on buses over the year prior.

“At New York City Transit, our number one priority is to move New York safely and efficiently. Even in a crisis, that priority doesn’t change,” interim New York City Transit President Sarah Feinberg said in a letter Monday. “We continue to run trains and the buses so that these folks can get where they need to be. We are constantly evaluating our service levels to ensure we have enough capacity for those who need it.”

A deep-dive on turnstile data by THE CITY found a 33 percent drop in people entering major stations on March 13 over the previous Friday.

For example, at Grand Central-42nd Street ridership took a 48 percent plunge.

When asked by amNewYork Metro if any service cuts were planned, spokesman confirmed that the agency did not have anything planned as of late Monday.

According to Feinberg, the city’s transit system would remain available to medical professionals, firefighters, law enforcement, child care and food service employees.

As the coronavirus situation in New York has escalated over the last two weeks, MTA Chair Pat Foye has encouraged New Yorkers to avoid crowded train cars and buses as measure to prevent spread and since then, restrictions have only gotten stricter.

Cuomo placed a ban on gatherings of over 50 while President Donald Trump ordered the public to avoid groups of over 10.

In a press conference early Monday, Cuomo said the sooner life for New Yorkers came to a physical halt, the sooner the epidemic would resolve.

This story first appeared on amny.com.

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