New York is the nation’s most densely populated city, with roughly 28,200 people occupying each square mile. The kind of congestion found in this metropolis makes it easy for viruses to spread. The city’s public transportation system puts riders in close contact with each other, placing them at greater risk for infection. Now, steps are being taken to mitigate that risk in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
- The state of New York is home to over 300 coronavirus cases and counting.
- Its public transportation system moves more passengers each year than any other transit system in the nation; its subway system alone had a ridership of almost 1.7 billion in 2018.
- The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is taking steps to prevent the spread of the virus on New York’s public transit.
To prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the MTA has placed an emphasis on improving its sanitization procedures. (Photo: Igor Ovsyannykov/Pixabay)
Battling the spread of infection
The MTA is working to keep the New York City transit system safe for riders by initiating the following measures:
- Sanitizing procedures have been beefed up. The MTA typically cleans trains, stations, and buses once every day, and it’s estimated that the entire service fleet is covered every 72 hours. In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, stations are now being disinfected twice a day. High-touch surfaces such as handrails on trains and buses are also disinfected twice daily.
- The MTA now uses cleaning products endorsed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC has listed cleaning products that work especially well at disinfecting surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. The MTA has incorporated these products into its cleaning regimen.
- Information has been posted that shares guidelines on how to stay healthy. The MTA has posted tips on how to prevent transmission of the coronavirus all throughout the bus, railway, and subway system. These tips are offered in several languages, including English, Russian, Chinese, Spanish, and Korean.
- Flu-shot hours for MTA employees have been extended. If MTA employees are healthy, they’re less likely to pass diseases on to riders using the transit system. The MTA has made it easier for its employees to remain in good health by extending its flu-shot hours.
- The MTA has increased its stockpile of hygienic supplies. You need the right supplies to keep an environment clean. Tapping state and local partners, the MTA has added to its arsenal of hygienic supplies.
WHY THIS MATTERS
It will take a smart, coordinated effort to halt the spread of the coronavirus in a city as densely packed and reliant on public transportation as New York. The precautions being initiated by the MTA are a step in the right direction.