Mayor: Subway social distance markers a must for reopening

National

FILE- In this May 5, 2020 file photo a New York Metropolitan Transportation authority worker worker disinfects a subway train at the Coney Island Stillwell Avenue Terminal, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. New York City appears to be on track to begin loosening restrictions in June, but residents who don’t yet feel comfortable commuting by subway may have to improvise, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday, May 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)

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NEW YORK (AP) — New York City buses and subways should look different when the city begins to ease coronavirus restrictions next week, with hand sanitizer in the stations and social distancing markers in place, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Wednesday.

“I want to see that everywhere you go, whether it is in a subway station, on the platform or on the train or on a bus there are markings telling you exactly where to be,” de Blasio said at his daily briefing.

Ridership on subways and buses is expected to increase when the city enters the first phase of New York state’s region-by-region, four-step reopening process Monday, and transit officials say they are taking steps to prevent a flareup of the virus.

Officials with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority said in a letter to de Blasio’s administration Tuesday that they’re asking employers to stagger shifts and continue to allow for remote work.

The authority is testing hand sanitizer dispensers and social distancing decals, an MTA spokesperson said. The closure of the subway system between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. for disinfecting will continue when the reopening starts.

Forty-nine additional coronavirus-related deaths were reported Tuesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

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