What Will the Subway Be Like as New York City Reopens?

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Spreading the coronavirus on mass transit is a major concern among officials in New York City as it approaches phase one of its reopening plan. An estimated 400,000 people will return to the work force on Monday, but they can expect things to be very different during their commutes.

Subways, buses and commuter lines are being disinfected every day. Slowly, the number of passengers is ticking up, going from 446,000 per day last month to 583,000 per day today.

One image taken last week shows just how crowded the subway can get — and some passengers are wearing masks while others are not. There is also worry about taking public transportation after 131 city transit workers died from COVID-19. 

Michael Benjamin, an op-ed columnist for the New York Post recorded some of his subway ride experiences. 

"Most people are wearing their masks, their hats, they're wearing gloves of all kinds," Benjamin said.

He said he's observed most of his fellow passengers practicing social distancing. 

"You notice they've put down the social distancing markers — not sure how it's gonna work when people return," Benjamin said. 

Benjamin also said some of what he has seen has been upsetting. "There are people talking with no masks, expelling air and getting close and they're worrisome when they behave that way."

Before the pandemic, an estimated 56% of all New Yorkers used public transportation.


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