NYMTA Work Force Gradually Replenishing

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
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TWU (Transport Workers Union) Local 100 President Tony Utano, whose organization represents the majority of New York MTA workers.

The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) on April 20 announced that the number of employees who have returned to work following mandatory quarantines is now higher than those still out on quarantine. System-wide, 5,033 employees have returned to work, compared with 4,112 employees currently out on quarantine.

“As a result of the strengthening workforce and improved employee scheduling, MTA New York City Transit is continuing to improve subway service regularity, with the number of train trips that were not able to be initiated due to crew shortages falling to 13% of trips in the past week, down from a peak of nearly 40%,” MTA noted.

The total of subway, bus, commuter rail and bridge and tunnel employees returning to work has surpassed those still in quarantine as shown here:

“Like so many others, the MTA has been hit hard by COVID-19, but as members of our workforce have recovered and come off of mandatory quarantines, they’ve returned as soon as possible to move the other essential heroes like doctors, nurses, pharmacists, grocers, and food delivery workers during this public health crisis so they can do their jobs and save lives,” said MTA Chief Safety Officer Patrick Warren. “We are relieved and grateful to see so many of our colleagues returning to good health. They are the definition of public servants helping all New Yorkers.”

The MTA “has been a national leader among transportation agencies in taking aggressive action to battle the COVID-19 pandemic since the early days of its arrival in New York,” Warren noted. “In order to protect employees, the MTA disregarded federal guidance and began handing out masks to all employees before the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention later issued new guidance recommending all Americans wear masks.”

Measures the agency has taken to protect both employees and the public include:

  • Distributing millions of pieces of PPE (personal protective equipment), including more than 5 million gloves and 1 million masks, since March 1.
  • Disinfecting more than 700 subway and commuter rail stations twice a day since March 11, daily since March 2. Disinfecting trains and buses nightly, getting through the entire fleets for all MTA agencies every 72 hours or less, since March 2.
  • Deploying a nation-leading “Temperature Brigade” to protect workers since early March at 22 critical locations. Anyone with a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher is sent home and instructed to seek medical guidance.
  • Protecting bus drivers and customers by moving to rear-door boarding and blocking off the front rows of express buses which are closest to drivers, since March 20.
  • Protecting station agents and customers by eliminating most person-to-person transactions (most cash transactions at booths), since March 23
  • Protecting bus employees by installing plexiglass barriers at work locations across all 28 bus depots for employees in 45 subway locations and is continuing to install them throughout the system.
  • Forming a partnership with Northwell Health to provide priority testing for MTA employees at more than 50 care facilities in the MTA service region.
  • Increasing the frequency of train and bus service to areas like the Bronx and Brooklyn with the greatest need.
  • In the tragic event that an employee passes away of COVID-19, MTA has established the first-in-the-nation family benefits fund which provides $500,000 to the family of the deceased.
Categories: Commuter/Regional, M/W, News, Passenger, Rapid Transit, Regulatory Tags: , , , , ,