MTA ‘confounded’ by CDC push for people to avoid mass transit
MTA Chairman Pat Foye on Friday blasted a new CDC guidance that businesses encourage employees to avoid mass transit.
“The CDC’s latest guidance marks yet another confounding recommendation from the nation’s top health authority,” Foye said in a statement.
“Encouraging people, especially those without cars and in congested areas like New York, not to take public transit is misguided.”
The new guidelines for re-opening office buildings suggest that companies “offer employees incentives to use forms of transportation that minimize close contact with others, such as offering reimbursement for parking for commuting to work alone or single-occupancy rides.”
But one transit official said the CDC recommendations were an anathema to dense cities like New York.
“The CDC clearly intends to encourage a gridlock traffic situation in urban areas,” said the official.
“Their guidance may be just fine in Nebraska, but in NYC, good luck getting employees to their jobs that way.”
The CDC guidance also called for employers to stagger work hours — a call echoed by Foye in an open letter to city business owners on Friday.
In the letter, Foye also called on companies to extend and expand work-from-home options.
The MTA chief frequently criticized the CDC for recommending against wearing masks at the outset of the pandemic, before they reversed course in mid-April.
Speaking to reporters Friday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said New Yorkers will have to decide for themselves how to get to work.
“It’s up to you,” the governor said. “You want to drive, you can drive. You want to pay that parking, deal with that traffic, that’s your business.”
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