MTA To Continue Regular Service As New York City Enters Phase 3

WCBS 880 Newsroom
July 06, 2020 - 3:50 pm

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    NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — The MTA is preparing for even more riders to return to the buses and subways this week as New York City enters Phase 3 of its reopening. 

    WCBS 880’s Wayne Cabot spoke with MTA Chairman and CEO Pat Foye on Monday morning, as the city entered the third phase, who said ridership is already significantly increasing. 

    “Last week, ridership on subways, weekday, hit 1.1 million, 1 million on buses. Those are pandemic highs and up significantly from the depth of the pandemic, but obviously far short of the 7.6 million customers that we would take on the subways and buses on an average weekday pre-pandemic,” Foye explained.

    The agency has already begun to prepare for another surge in ridership and Foye confirmed Monday the MTA is running 100% Manhattan bus service and added an overnight express bus, the B99, to travel between Midwood in Brooklyn and the Upper West Side in Manhattan. 

    Mayor Bill de Blasio and Foye estimate an additional 50,000 customers will return to the buses and subways as the city progresses through the third phase of reopening.

    While some may be worried about the risk of coronavirus, masks are mandatory to ride on public transportation and Foye notes they are the most important thing a rider can do to protect themselves.

    “We’ve surveyed mask compliance physically and on subways, it’s 95% among our customers and 100% among our employees, Foye said.

    As riders return, they expect to continue to gain more revenue, but Foye notes that agency is running out of federal funding. 

    “We will be out of federal cash on the first round of the federal funding. In the CARES Act, the MTA $3.8 billion – that’s about half the amount we’re gonna need to get through 2020. That round of federal funding will be exhausted next week and we’ll get the last installments of that payment in August,” the MTA chairman explained. 

    He’s calling on the Senate to pass the HEROES Act in order for the MTA to receive an additional $3.9 billion to get the agency through the remainder of 2020.

    Foye says the MTA is in dire need of federal help and referred to the situation as a “financial 4-alarm fire.”

    Meanwhile, the overnight shutdown of the subway will continue as the agency works to disinfect all train cars, stations and buses. From 1 a.m. to 5 a.m., no subways will be running and the city will continue to operate homeless outreach programs, which Foye says has been a great success. 

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