Today, Monday, June 8th, 2020, uptown Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, Chairman of the Transportation Committee, held a press conference.
The press conference called on the MTA to reopen subway service between the hours of 1AM – 5AM as part of Phase I of the City reopening.Chairman Rodriguez called on the MTA to implement a plan that will allow the agency to clean the subway stations daily while also maintaining overnight subway service open to New Yorkers. Chairman Rodriguez also distributed free masks to members of the public at the 149th and 3rd avenue train station and at 181st and St. Nicholas Avenue.
Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, Chairman of The Transportation Committee said, “Today I stand alongside Riders Alliance calling on the MTA to reopen the transit system. The City began phase I of the reopening stage today and as workers are returning to work we need to ensure that the trains are open for all New Yorkers to use.
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I support the MTA’s initiative to clean our stations both inside and out, but we must bring attention to the large number of essential workers, in addition to our health care personnel, who rely on overnight transit to get to and from work. Many of these New Yorkers work in our restaurants, supermarkets, and grocery stores. Across the five boroughs, these closures have predominately impacted working class and poor New Yorkers who rely on transportation between the hours of 1AM and 5AM.
We can restore service while continuing to take all the proper precautions to ensure riders remain safe during their commute. We must continue distributing masks, providing services to the homeless, cleaning the stations daily, and providing 24-hour train services for New Yorkers. I look forward to working alongside the MTA in this matter to ensure that riders are receiving reliable and efficient transportation services throughout New York City.
I am also asking that the Federal Government provides the funds necessary to properly maintain the train stations to ensure that this cost is not transferred to riders as a fare increase. The COVID-19 pandemic has created challenges for all New Yorkers, predominantly the Black, Latino, and Asian communities living in underserved communities. Increasing the fare would only further hurt these communities who are already struggling with the economic impacts of COVID-19.”
Danna Dennis, Community Organizer with Riders Alliance said, “New Yorkers have built their lives around the subway, especially low-income service workers who power the 24/7 economy. We can’t fully come back without our subway to take us where we need to be around the clock!”