MTA Tests Social Distancing Markers On Subway Platforms

WCBS 880 Newsroom
May 12, 2020 - 2:08 pm

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    NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — The MTA is trying out a new way to keep straphangers from getting too close to one another.

    The agency has installed blue markings, spaced six feet apart, on the platforms at the 51st Street Station on the No. 6 line and the Lexington Avenue-53rd Street Station on the E and M lines.

    Mayor Bill de Blasio called it a "sensible concept."

    "We've certainly seen some good results outside grocery stores and supermarkets for example. When people sort of know how to form a line that's socially distanced, I think it's helpful to people," de Blasio said Tuesday. "I think it's a smart idea for the subway as well. Obviously we're talking about really modest subway ridership now. As ridership increases over time we gotta think about what will work for that moment, but for this moment I think there's some sense in that," the mayor said.

    The MTA is studying whether those markings actually encourage people to keep their distance.

    The transit agency is also expanding a pilot program to install vinyl barriers on buses to protect drivers.

    Approximately 400 buses already have them and that number will go up to 1,600 by the end of the month.

    The barriers cordon off the first few rows of seats and may be replaced at some point by more permanent plexiglass barriers.

    MTA spokeswoman Abbey Collins tells the Daily News, "We're constantly exploring, implementing and evaluating new solutions to make our system safer for all customers and employees."

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