Reopen News: NYC Transit sees spike in ridership after day one of Phase 1

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- New York City Transit saw an encouraging increase in ridership numbers as commuters returned to work after the first day of the Phase 1 reopening.

Officials announced subways and buses saw 213,548 more riders on Monday compared to the week before. It marked the first time that subway ridership reached 800,000 since before the pandemic began, with ridership at 800,664 compared to 686,869 on June 1.

Local and express buses increased by nearly 100,000 riders to 855,459, compared to the 755,706 the week before. During the morning rush, officials say the number of riders was at its highest between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. at 51,710. Between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m., buses saw 71,245 riders.

"Day one of Phase 1 was a good day for New York City Transit with more customers safely returning to the system and widespread mask compliance," said Sarah Feinberg, Interim President of New York City Transit. "We continue our unprecedented 24/7 disinfecting effort to make our system cleaner and safer than it has ever been and we are providing more than 2 million masks to those who need it in addition to making hand sanitizer available across the system. We ask our customers to continue following public health guidance to keep yourself and your fellow riders healthy. We look forward to gradually welcoming additional customers back to our system."

As subways and buses see an increase in ridership, officials say daily cleaning and disinfecting will continue across train cars and at stations. Since May 6, when the subway system began to shut down from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m., subway cars have been cleaned over 220,000 times and all 472 subway stations have been cleaned over 71,000 times. Buses have gone through more than 184,000 cleaning cycles.

"I was in the New York City subway system yesterday," New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. "It was remarkable. We now disinfect subway cars and Metro North cars."

Decals and floor markers with directional cues to encourage social distancing have been placed in subway stations, and two million masks were distributed to stations to be made available to riders. Hand sanitizer dispensers are being placed in stations across the system to encourage cleanliness. MTA will also have gallon dispensers and will be distributing mini bottles.

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