NYC Subway Conductor Dies From Coronavirus

WCBS 880 Newsroom
March 26, 2020 - 3:53 pm

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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — A veteran New York City subway conductor has died from the coronavirus. 

The MTA said Peter Petrassi died Thursday. The 49-year-old from Queens had been with New York City Transit for 20 years most recently working in transit operations in a Long Island City office.

"Our hearts are absolutely broken. Peter was a vital member of our team, and a valued friend. We are honored to have worked with him, and our thoughts are with his family and loved ones. We will find a way for his friends and colleagues to honor and pay tribute to his life and his work in the days to come," Sarah Feinberg, Interim NYC Transit President, said in a statement.

"Our thoughts go out to Peter's brother, his loved ones, his friends and co-workers in this difficult time," said Sally Librera, SVP of Subways. "Peter's coworkers loved working with him, he brightened everyone's day and was a joy to be around. We are all deeply saddened by his untimely passing."

While the MTA statement did not disclose cause of death, The Daily News reports Petrassi is the first transit employee to succumb to the disease.

TWU Local 100 President Tony Utano called Petrassi's death a terrible tragedy.

"TWU Local 100 feels this loss and mourns with his family. Conductor Petrassi’s passing is a line-of-duty death just as if he had been killed on the job in any number of ways that have struck down transit workers in years past. Transit workers are saddened. The MTA must NOW provide masks to frontline transit workers. Otherwise, the moment is rapidly approaching where bus and subway workers will do what is necessary to protect themselves and their families. Dedication and duty does not mean using transit workers as cannon fodder," Utano said.

Earlier this week, the MTA had said 52 employees had tested positive for COVID-19. 

The MTA has doubled down on its cleaning and sanitizing efforts since the virus emerged in New York City.

The MTA continues to run subways, buses, Metro-North and Long Island Rail Road trains on a reduced schedule to serve health care workers, first responders and other essential workers.

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