The MTA must guarantee that essential workers commuting each morning are getting on subway trains disinfected of the coronavirus the night prior, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday, continuing to rail against deteriorating conditions in the system.
“I want a full plan: How do we disinfect every train every night?” he during an Albany press briefing. “Any essential worker who shows up and gets on a train should know that that train was disinfected the night before.
“We want them to show up.”
Subway cars are currently disinfected every 72 hours — the length of time that the coronavirus can survive on surfaces, Cuomo has said — but the governor is giving the MTA until Thursday to come up with a plan to step up the scrubbings.
Pressed on the details of exactly how to clean “every train every night,” Cuomo seemingly bent the rules of time.
“I didn’t say on a 24-hour basis,” he said. “I said when people get into the train in the morning, they had to know that that train was disinfected the night before.
“I told the MTA give me a plan whereby you will clean and disinfect every train every night so that I can say to the essential workers who are killing themselves for our state … know that that car was disinfected the night before.”
Cuomo insisted that the plan was both “realistic” and “essential” — but said he was unsure how it would impact service.
The MTA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The push came as Cuomo again decried conditions on the subway system, to which the city’s homeless have flocked with ridership at historic lows.
“The trains are filled with homeless people, and you’re not doing the homeless any favors,” he said. “Letting them endanger their own lives and the lives of others is not helping anyone.”
Pressed for a solution, Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday proposed shuttering ten terminals on a nightly basis to clear out the trains, but the MTA has initially balked at the idea.
Cuomo also highlighted crime on the city’s rails, spiking despite the plunge in ridership.
“Some crimes are up in the subways, even though ridership is down 90-percent,” he said. “I don’t even know how mathematically that is possible.”
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