Transcript for What precautions the MTA will take to keep subways safe during phase 1 of reopening
As New York City approaches phase one of reopening, anywhere from 200,000 people to 40,000 people will be returning to work all at once. One of the biggest concerns for new yorkers, are the subways safe? Here to tell us about some of the precautions the mta will be taking is New York City transit interim president Sarah Feinberg. It's June # 8th right now, it's phase one. Governor Cuomo said reopening doesn't mean going back to how things were in the past. How is the mt sashgs preparing for phase one of the reopening? The first thing we have been planning for this reopening since the beginning. We've been planning for this now for many, many weeks. The first thing we've been doing is cleaning and disinfecting the system. We now clean and disinfect the stations twice a day and we clean and disinfect the fleet of rail cars multiple times a day. We're doing everything we can to make sure that the cars and the station and the buses that people will be getting on are as clean and safe as possible. We're also taking a lot of other steps -- making sure that we have hand sanitizer on hand at stations. You know, masks will absolutely be required, but we'll also have a few masks on hand for those for that first day or two who forget their masks at home. We're going to make sure that the system is safe and as clean as possible and communicate with our riders about what they can to keep themselves safe. The first time in New York City's history that subway system shut down for those cleanings. It certainly has been hitting the papers, the homeless problem that has erupted in the wake of this coronavirus crisis. What are you doing long term to try and deal with that situation? Well, look, the fact that we got folks who need and try to take shelter in our system I think speaks to a much larger problem that the city of new York is facing. We run a transit system, while we do our best to offer social services we can, that's not what our job is and not what we should be doing, because that's not what we're good at, right, we count on the city to provide the social services to those who are experiencing homeless and we make sure that all the riders leave the system every single night. The system closes down and we do a huge amount of cleaning and when we open up at 5:00 A.M. The system is really cleaned and disinfected. Sarah, as a loyal subway rider, for 15 years -- Thank you. I know how busy it gets. The morning and the evening rush hours, we're packed in very closely together on those subway cars, so even if masks are required for riders, are there officers who will be enforcing social distancing? How will you handle this? Will you hand out free masks to those who don't have them? Right, spoken like a true new Yorker who uses the system just like I do. You're right. So new yorkers are used to be absolutely packed like sardines into subway cars in the morning and afternoon rush. That's never ideal. What we're going be telling people, you got to be vigilant about your mask usage and put as much distance between you and other passengers as possible. Six feet is ideal, if you can't get six feet, get three. If you can't get three get one. You know, look, I think it's going take a while for ridership to click back to where it used to be. For a while it will be easier to get that distance. The key is to be vigilant about your mask usage. I'm curious what you think about the CDC recommendations that workers should avoid mass transit like the mta? What do you think about this? Well, look, it just doesn't work in New York City. So, if people in New York City decide not to use mass transit and everyone gets in a car instead, no one is getting anywhere. Sarah Feinberg, thank you for joining us. And for all of your efforts during these times. We appreciate it.
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