NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has proposed a 7-point plan to help the MTA meet the increased demand as New York City begins Phase 1 of reopening on June 8.
The mayor said he has sent the proposed plan to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and MTA Chairman Pat Foye.
Officials say the recommendations are designed to make the subways and buses a safe, reliable and socially distant option for New Yorkers who will return to the workplace next month using transit.
"New York City is a mass transit city - it always has been, and always will be," said Mayor de Blasio. "These ideas will give New Yorkers the confidence that public transit is more than just the fastest way to get around - it's a vital ally in our ongoing fight against COVID-19. I urge the MTA to implement them right away."
The recommendations include:
- Increase Frequency of Service: Increase frequency significantly during peak hours while limiting the increase in ridership to allow for maximum social distancing. Return to regular rush hour service for Phase 1. The MTA should prepare to accommodate at least another 100,000 - 200,000 more riders per day.
- Capacity Limits on Buses/Trains: Limit capacity on buses and trains to allow for social distancing. Skip stops if over capacity.
- Limit Station/Train Overcrowding: Monitor platform crowding and temporarily close stations when needed during peak hours.
- Social Distancing Signage/Markers: Clearly mark six feet of distance on platforms, trains and buses. Demarcate specific seats on trains and buses for riders, block off every other seat to maintain social distance.
- Hand Sanitizing Stations: Install hand sanitizer in all stations and buses, including next to MetroCard vending machines and any other high-touch locations.
- Face Coverings: Require face coverings for all individuals using subways, buses and trains. Provide face coverings throughout the system to ensure that all riders have them. The city will initially provide one million FREE face coverings, and the MTA and State should match that commitment.
- Personnel: City will work with MTA to identify personnel to help promote and enforce social distancing.