In a joint press conference with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio Friday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he’s confident the city can meet state mandated metrics and enter phase one reopening as soon as June 8.
The announcement follows Mayor de Blasio’s solo press conference where he stated that hospitalizations, ICU admissions and covid-19 infections have reached an all time low since the New York City shutdown began in March.
The Metropolitan Transit Authority is also a part of the city’s reopening plan. Gov. Cuomo said the MTA must have a plan to deal with increased ridership since the phase one reopening will send close to 400,000 New Yorkers back to work commuting on trains and buses.
“We have to continue to be smart,” Gov. Cuomo said during his press briefing Friday. “None of us have been here before, but we are figuring it out.”
Phase one reopening allows manufacturing, construction and retail with curbside pickup. The remainder of the regions across New York state including Long Island entered phase one reopening at the end of May.
The increased ridership could help the struggling MTA regain stability.
The MTA, which is financially struggling due to a 92 percent drop in ridership, will receive $3,9 billion in emergency funding from the federal government as soon as possible. New Jersey will receive $1.4 Billion for its transit system. The federal funding will be processed through the CARES act.
In addition to losing revenue from passengers, the MTA is deploying a team of cleaners to disinfect the trains overnight and during daytime hours to stop the spread of the coronavirus and protect essential workers that continue to ride subways and buses while the rest of the city shelters in place at home.
As a part of the new Essential Connector Program, the subway system shuts down during its slowest hours between 1 am and 5 am for cleaning during the pandemic.
The containment of the virus and hospitalizations following New York City’s phase one reopening determines how soon the city can move into phase two, allowing more businesses to open. As of May 28 the northern and central regions of New York state are preparing for phase two reopening. Gov. Cuomo listed strict guidelines and testing requirements for those regions to meet state mandated metrics.
Watch a clip of the press conference below. For more breaking news follow us on Twitter and Instagram @nycwired