NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — We’re just days away from Phase 1 of reopening in New York City.
That means more people using subways and buses to get back to work. Mayor Bill de Blasio has unveiled a safety plan and CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis got reaction from commuters on Wednesday.
“Transportation has been great. Less people have been using it. I think they’re scared,” said Frank Cane of Middle Village.
We may be in a pandemic, but many like Cane still need to get to work and rely on the subway.
“I go back and forth every day for the last three months, have no problems,” Cane said.
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“It has been OK. Obviously, everyone is concerned about social distancing and the more it opens, the more it will be crowded and I think that’s a concern,” added Danielle B. of Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn.
“Our prediction is between 200,000 to 400,000 people are going to come back to work starting Monday, and we know this is a mass transit city,” Mayor de Blasio said.
The mayor of the “mass transit city,” where ridership dropped 90% at the height of the pandemic, rolled out the safety plan for Phase 1 of reopening as subways and buses return to full, regular service.
“That’s going to mean enough opportunity to get around, but also that when you get on a subway or bus a much greater likelihood it will not be crowded,” de Blasio said.
He said the city is working with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to add hand sanitizer at all stations and provide 1 million free face coverings.
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The mayor is calling on the MTA to place markings on the ground to enforce social distancing in places like the platforms and at the ticket booths.
“The same with the buses. It is crucial that every other seat be blocked off, so that it’s clear. You never end up sitting right next to someone. There’s at least a seat between people,” de Blasio said.
And he wants the agency to have a presence on the platforms, directing and educating riders to assure safety, which includes enforcing masks.
“I don’t wear a mask at all when I get on the train and they don’t give tickets to anybody. The cops really don’t do nothing half the time,” said Rafael Albelo of Bed-Stuy.
CBS2 is still waiting to hear back from the MTA on how it will execute this plan.
With just days to go until Phase 1, many commuters are just hoping it’s a smooth ride to reopening.