Transit Agencies’ #SoundTheHorn Campaign Aims to Honor Essential Workers

Written by Andrew Corselli
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As a tribute to the essential workers on the front lines of this public health crisis, all trains and buses running in service across the New York metropolitan area will give two one-second horn blasts in solidarity with partner agencies. Photo via Amtrak.com.

Amtrak, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), NJ TRANSIT, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and other regional bus and ferry operators have launched #SoundTheHorn—a coordinated effort to simultaneously sound their vehicle horns at 3 p.m. ET on Thursday, April 16 to honor heroic transportation and other essential workers across the country.

As a tribute to the essential workers on the front lines of this public health crisis, including transportation workers, all trains and buses running in service across the New York metropolitan area will give two one-second horn blasts in solidarity with partner agencies. Heroic transportation workers continue to provide critical service for heroic healthcare workers, first responders, childcare workers, grocery store employees and other heroes who are performing critically essential work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The partner agencies expect that there will be nearly 4,400 trains, buses and ferries in service on Thursday afternoon to participate in the coordinated sounding of horns.

Anyone who sees or hears trains, buses or ferries sounding their horns at 3 p.m. on Thursday is encouraged to use the #SoundTheHorn hashtag to post audio and video, and tag the agency on the platform of their choice.

“Every hero deserves to be recognized and thanked for their courage, selflessness and the help they are providing to this country during this time,” said Amtrak Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Operating and Commercial Officer Stephen Gardner. “We are proud to participate with our partners and ‘sound our horns’ by honoring and thanking all of the heroes in the New York metropolitan area and across the nation who continue their essential and heroic service.”

“Our employees are heroes,” said MTA Chairman and CEO Patrick J. Foye. “They are courageously coming to work each day to perform their essential duties, which are critically important to this region during the pandemic. We hope this action will draw attention to their efforts and help further our employees’ spirit of solidarity with all New Yorkers.” 

“Our region’s frontline transit employees deserve all the thanks and recognition we can give them right now,” said NJ TRANSIT President & CEO Kevin Corbett. “This effort is a small yet powerful way for us to show our appreciation for the brave, selfless transit workers who continue to show up every day, under some of the most challenging conditions any of us have ever seen. They are moving essential personnel like hospital workers, first responders, and others who are literally working to save lives. By extension, these frontline transit employees are also helping to save lives and are performing a vital public service.”

“The essential workers who operate and maintain our transportation systems are committed to keeping the region’s first responders, healthcare workers, grocery and delivery workers, and all other essential workers moving to where they need to go safely, reliably, and efficiently,” said Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton. “The Port Authority is proud to join our transportation partners in honoring the heroes moving heroes.”

“The Staten Island Ferry is honored to help transport these Heroes between Manhattan and Staten Island and to #SoundTheHorn on Thursday along with our regional partners,” said New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “While ridership is down nearly 90% and Ferry personnel ranks have been reduced by COVID-19 our employees remain dedicated to providing this critical transportation service for our essential workers as we all confront these challenges. I thank all the region’s transportation workers for their incredible commitment and service.”

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