MTA Chairman and CEO Patrick Foye appeared live today on WCBS NewsRadio 880 with Steve Scott to discuss the impact of the winter storm on regional public transportation service.
A transcript appears below.
Steve Scott: Public transit is ramping up again this morning after yesterday's storm. Live to our Newsline, MTA Chairman Pat Foye is with us. Mr. Foye, good morning, give us a rundown of train and bus service this morning. How's it look?
Patrick Foye: It looks pretty well. This is, I understand Steve, one of the top 10 snow events in New York City history. MTA forces before, during, and after were all over this storm. Above grade service on the subways was restored this morning at 5 a.m., Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North began their trains around 4 a.m., service is normal. There is a water main break, a city water main broke at [96th] Street, which is affecting service on the and , customers should look at mta.info for information. DEP personnel and MTA personnel are on the scene there, but there will be disruptions of service on the and on the on the west side. We're advising customers that platforms may be slippery. Sarah Feinberg and her team have 10,000 colleagues out there dealing with the aftermath of the storm. All things considered given the nature of the storm it went well. Buses are operating at 75% service, I do want to give a shout out to, in addition to the men and women in the Sanitation Department, who closely coordinated their plowing activities with our with our buses. So Steve, all things considered given the severity of the storm, mass transit and the MTA came out of this well, and it's a tribute to our forces, who worked hard before, during and after the storm.
Scott: An executive order from President Biden requiring masks on all public transit plus airports and for-hire vehicles and the like, went into effect at midnight. Now you've had mask mandates on the MTA for a while. How has compliance been?
Foye: Compliance is very, very high. First, I applaud President Biden's action on that. That is an action that should have been taken on a national level a long time ago. You're quite right, we've had a mask mandate for months and months. Mask compliance on subways, buses, commuter rails is well over 95%. We've distributed, MTA employees have distributed well over 6 million masks to our customers. We are adjusting our regulations as a result, in the process of adjusting our regulations, as a result of the President's new executive order but we applaud that action. Single most important thing customers can do to protect themselves, fellow commuters, and our employees is to wear a mask.
Scott: Yeah, I know some people are a little nervous about being in a confined space but with the masks, the cleaning, you're comfortable with sending people on to mass transit. Subways, buses and the like?
Foye: Absolutely. If we weren't we wouldn't run the service. I can tell you I’m a daily commuter on the Long Island Rail Road and on, you know, the and down to 2 Broadway where the MTA lives and the disinfecting regime, the innovative pilots we've been pursuing, and in some cases are in the process of implementing, and high levels of mask compliance, plus millions of masks distributed to our customers and our employees.
Scott: Alright, MTA Chairman Pat Foye, as always thank you for talking with us.
Foye: Thank you Steve.