‘Essential workers only’: MTA urges Memorial Day beachgoers to stay off mass transit

Adam Warner
May 22, 2020 - 7:30 am

    NEW YORK (1010 WINS) – The MTA is urging New Yorkers, particularly sand-seeking beachgoers, to stay off mass transit this Memorial Day weekend.

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    “Commuter trains, subways and buses continue to be reserved for essential workers only,” the MTA said in a statement.

    New York City beaches are open this weekend, but there are restrictions on activities and sizes of gatherings. For example, swimming in the water is not allowed, nor are group activities like sports, but surfing and walking along the beach is.

    Many Long Island and Hudson Valley beaches also have local residency restrictions and capacity limitations in place, and New York City residents are encouraged to stay close to home. But if people plan to go to the city’s beaches, the MTA doesn’t want them taking the subways, buses or commuter rails.

    Members of MTA police will be positioned at key locations throughout the subway and bus system to address potential crowding issues. Meanwhile, the staff of New York City Transit, the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad will monitor ridership levels on all routes and be prepared to take measures to adjust service if necessary.

    “We understand people have been cooped up and are going to want to celebrate Memorial Day weekend, but essential service remains for essential workers and those making essential trips only. It is not for recreational travel to beaches,” MTA Chairman Pat Foye said in a statement. “We ask that New Yorkers plan weekend activities that conform with social distancing practices put forward by state and local authorities, and importantly, all customers are required to wear a mask.”

    LIRR President Phil Eng echoed Foye’s sentiments in a separate statement: “Our workforce is undertaking heroic efforts to keep our region’s heroes moving, and to keep the public safe. We ask the public to help honor their efforts by avoiding public transportation.”

    “We need to preserve service under the Essential Service Plan for those who really need it, the doctors, nurses, first responders, pharmacists and grocery workers,” said MTA Bus President Craig Cipriano in a statement.

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