Long Island News Post Published on May, 21th 2020, Written by Nick P.
In response to Coronavirus, the MTA is considering limiting the number of people permitted to ride on Long Island Rail Road trains. Means of doing this include a reservation system and using technology to take passenger's temperatures.
The MTA hopes that these measures will increase riders' confidence in the Long Island Railroad, which has seen its number of passengers plummet amid the Coronavirus Pandemic.
MTA and LIRR Long Island News
Data shows that since early March, riders on the Long Island Railroad have decreased between 93%-97%. Much of this drop is surely due to many companies in New York City working remotely during this time, which directly impacts the railroad. Taking this into account, the LIRR is confident that it will have about 60% of its riders back by the end of the year.
Although Long Island Coronavirus cases by town have been dropping, the LIRR must be prepared in order to prevent a spike in cases.
What Has The Railroad Been Ddoing To Protect Its Staff?
Like most other businesses the railroad has had to adapt to the challenges of preventing the spread of the Coronavirus on its trains. One of the measures currently in place is the requirement for both employees and passengers to wear masks.
The railroad has currently been operating without the use of cash to reduce the amount of contact between customers and employees. In addition, the railroad has increased the number of cleanings. All LIRR stations will go from daily cleaning and disinfecting to twice a day, while all train cars are cleaned thoroughly daily.
“Car cleanliness first and foremost rebuilds confidence,” said LIRR president Phillip Eng. Eng went on to say that car cleanliness is first and foremost when it comes to rebuilding passengers' trust.
How Will The Long Island Railroad Protect Customers?
Although LIRR wants to bring back its riders as quickly as possible, they are doing their best to ensure they do so in a safe manner. “Our first priority is protecting the health and safety of our customers and our employees,” MTA chairman and chief executive Patrick Foye said.
Foye also said a "multidimensional" approach needed to be taken. He stated this during a webinar as a way to safely and effectively bring back riders when New York's stay at home order is finally lifted.
Options that are currently being discussed include a limit on the total number of riders allowed to enter a specific railroad car and the creation of an automated transit reservation system.
The MTA is also discussing the testing of mass thermal imaging equipment that has the ability to take temperatures of every passenger before boarding a Long Island Railroad Train. MTA employees currently have their temperature taken before starting their shifts.
Other changes have been proposed but have not yet made it into further discussion. Such as the ability to sit in the middle seat. When asked about being able to sit in the middle seat, Phillip Eng said he suspects many people will choose not to sit in the middle seat regardless if a rule is in place.
Foye also stated that he has ruled out an increase in fare prices as a way to make up for the revenue lost because of the pandemic, which experts estimate to be about $7.8 billion.
Will it Be Safe to Ride on the Long Island Railroad when New York Reopens?
Generally speaking, if you follow Social Distancing guidelines and do not come within 6 feet of others riding on the railroad will be a safe way to commute. By taking the extra precaution of wearing a mask you can help others in the car by reducing the chance of you spreading the virus.
If you want to be extra safe, you can avoid crowded cars on the train during peak commute times. As many businesses are weighing the option of staggering their employees' hours to avoid heavy rush hour commute times, there may not be a time where the trains are as packed as they once were in for the morning and evening commute.
By taking personal precautions and following the new guidelines that the long island railroad is planning to put in place, you can safely commute on the Long Island Railroad without worrying about the Coronavirus.
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Long Island News Post Published May 21th, 2020
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