Honored Social Butterfly

Gov. Cuomo urged to shut down NYC subways to stop coronavirus spread

BY:  Susan Edelman


Gov. Cuomo should temporarily shut down the NYC subways to help slam the brakes on the coronavirus outbreak, urge four City Council members.


“We believe that drastic measures must be taken to stop the spread of COVID-19 in our transit system,” the lawmakers — Robert Holden, Eric Ulrich, Mark Gjonaj and Peter Koo — say in a letter to Cuomo.


With MTA workers still lacking protective gear, trains packed with passengers due to reduced service, and homeless people camping in the cars, the subways are fueling the crisis, the councilmen say.

”MTA employees are going to work every day with woefully inadequate personal protective equipment (PPE). They are given one mask and one pair of gloves for an entire week while continuing to work among the filth of the subway,” the letter says, citing complaints by TWU Local 100 members.


“As a result, MTA workers are dying at a faster rate than any other front-line workers.”


COVID-19 has killed 68 employees to date, spokeswoman Abbey Collins said Saturday.  A total 2,496 workers have tested positive, and 4,365 are currently quarantined due to illness or exposure. Another 4,127 have returned to work after quarantines.


The councilmen also cite news reports of crowded subway cars and buses when the MTA cut service due to lower ridership: “This crowding becomes a hotspot for COVID-19 transmission and presents an extreme danger to everyone on board,” the letter says.


Worsening the problem, “homeless New Yorkers are seeking refuge on the subways and taking over entire train cars, further endangering themselves and others,” it adds.


“Taking all of this information into account, we believe that the New York City transit system is a primary contributor to the spread of COVID-19, and we recommend a temporary closure of the system for at least one week for deep cleaning of trains, buses and stations.”


During the shutdown, the city and state can partner with for-hire services such as Uber and LYFT or the yellow cabs to give rides to essential workers, and lift all parking restrictions — except for no-standing zones, the councilmen suggest.


When service resumes, they say, the system should be shut down daily from midnight to 5 a.m. for deep cleaning, workers should get better PPE, and all commuters should be required to wear face coverings, as Cuomo has since mandated.


“It is time for a direct and coordinated approach from the city and state to bring this crisis to an end,” the letter says.


Cuomo rejected the councilmen’s suggestion.


“Mass transit is only open so our front line workers can get to work at hospitals, fire houses, police stations, pharmacies and grocery stores — and we make these decisions based on science and facts not because some politicians say so,” spokeswoman Caitlin Girouard said Sunday.


MTA spokesman Shams Tarek called closing the subways “a dangerous and a terrible idea.”

“We’re moving the medical professionals and first-responders who are saving lives every day. The private taxi industry doesn’t have the same capacity as the biggest transit system in North America does. We can’t shut down the system for one day, forget about a week.”


Tarek said the MTA chemically disinfects all 700-plus stations in the subway and commuter rail system twice a day, and the train and bus fleets daily.


As for workers, he added, “To date ,we’ve handed out almost one million masks and more than 5 million gloves. Many employees get gloves replaced on a daily basis.”



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Honored Social Butterfly

Shutting down the NYC subway system would be equivalent to any other city making it illegal to drive a car.  It is a hugely beneficial system but there is a reason it is called "mass transit".  I have not heard any regressives asking to ban auto use but that would stop covid-19 infections as well.  As usual, regressives don't think it through before they reach for the "I am outraged" card. 

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Honored Social Butterfly

Gov. Cuomo urged to shut down NYC subways to stop coronavirus spread


Red state governors  should temporarily shut down the interstate highway system to help slam the brakes on the coronavirus outbreak.


Just let trucks and first responders use the roads.


It would work too.


Can you imagine to outrage from Republicans


How would they get in their cars and drive to state capitals to protest the tyranny of lock downs?


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Social Butterfly

How ridiculous.


Anyone who knows anything about NYC knows shutting down the subway system is not an option. Can't be done. NYC is not LA where people drive everywhere. The cost of keeping a car in NYC is astronomical. Auto insurance prices alone stop people from buying cars. City people use mass transit. I have a car and I take mass transit into and around the city. Parking, traffic, tolls, forget it.

The suggestion that Uber, Lyft, and cabs can replace the subway is simply stupid. The city can't afford it. Add in the cost of all the newly unemployed MTA workers... oy.


Why would anyone with any sense write this? Why would anyone print this? 








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Honored Social Butterfly

So. I am confused. Are the regressives in favor of opening up the entire nation or are they in favor of shutting down everything, including the NYC subways?  We are getting mixed messages here.


Or........are they only in favor of shutting down the necessary things in Democratic strongholds?  

Honored Social Butterfly

@Richva wrote:

So. I am confused. 

On this we agree...


Most normal folks understand a common sense approach to opening up certain parts of our economy is what is needed.  


The one size fits all approach by the dimms usually does not work very well.  For example, New York city requirements are not needed in Jackson County Florida...  Not a difficult concept.  (For most folks)






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