Its subway lines and bus routes are the heartbeat of the east coast melting pot, so it comes as no surprise that NYC public transportation was looked at as a danger zone amid a growing pandemic. By April, over 40 MTA transit workers passed away due to the virus.
The ease of getting around NYC without needing a personal vehicle is a factor that normally attracts many tourists. But between traffic and finding parking, having a car in the city can potentially be more of a hassle than all the other available options. Having a car seems like a more desirable option for those looking to get around.
COVID-19 has completely transformed the underground routes that thousands of NYC residents usually ride on daily.
Packed subway rides and delayed trains are a thing of the past as most residents are cautious to continue to practice social distancing guidelines.
Here are first-hand accounts of some ways COVID-19 has transformed the subway system:
A large percentage of NYC’s homeless population has flocked to the subway. With no rush hour crowds, this allows more space for homeless individuals to station themselves underground.
According to NY1, the city is trying to connect homeless people to services in order to prevent them from permanently stationing on the subway lines. Some homeless individuals reported that homeless shelters they were encountering were at full capacity thus causing them to station underground.
The pandemic also marks the first time in history that the NYC subway system shut down for mandatory cleaning. NYPD officers helped patrol to help MTA workers accomplish this task.
The MTA released details on how they plan to step up cleaning procedures moving forward. This will include cleaning during the day in terminals, overnight in yards and bus depots and overnight in subway terminals.
The MTA is also exploring new technologies such as ultraviolet light and electrostatic sprayers to disinfect areas more efficiently.
As summer is in full effect, many New Yorkers admire that the subway remains more empty than usual.
For those looking to get day by day updates on any of the transit across New York City, the MTA New York City Transit Facebook page posts statuses on the regular.
On this Facebook page, you can find updates on specific routes, construction and how the MTA plans to continue combatting COVID-19.
If you must travel, certain safety procedures remain mandatory. This includes wearing a mask and avoiding crowds as much as possible.