MTA, MBTA: High CVD-19 Casualty Rates Among Workers

Fifty-Nine MTA Workers Lost to Coronavirus. CEO Foye Among >1500 Sick Employees. Agency to Support Bereaved Families with Enhanced $500k Death Benefit Payment.

14 April, NYC Metro Region — The MTA will pay the $500,000 lump sum to the spouse, beneficiary or estate of any transit-worker COVID-19 victims who were in active service on or after Feb. 20. It will also provide health insurance to a worker’s spouse and dependents up to the age of 26 for three years.

MTA Chairman Patrick Foye, who tested positive for COVID-19 last month, noted he had “no idea how or when” he contracted the virus, so documentation will not be required “of our fallen colleagues.”

“What our frontline workers have done during this pandemic is nothing short of heroic and we believe this agreement is another crucial step in recognizing their sacrifice,” Foye said {Jose Martinez, 14.Apr.2020}

Transit casualty rates higher than police

Fatalities are notably higher among transit workers than police officers. Thirteen New York City officers on a force of 55,000 had died as of 07.April. There are 74,000 MTA employees. {}

“[MTA employees] are doing heroic work, ” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said, noting the high death rate. “Our heroic employees come to work every day during this unprecedented public health crisis so other essential workers like doctors, nurses, pharmacists, grocers and food delivery workers can do their jobs,” said Ken Lovett, an MTA spokesperson. “The death of any of our colleagues is personal; not about statistics.”

One Employee Lost to Coronavirus Among 53 Infected. Tough Protocols Assure Safe Service for Health Workers and T Employees.

10.April, Boston Metro Region — MBTA previously started having people board from the rear doors on buses and trolleys at street-level stops on the Green Line and Mattapan Line in an effort to support physical distancing. It has implemented temperature checks at major bus garages before employees begin their shifts. Any person with a temperature of over 100 degrees is asked to go home and contact their medical provider.

The MBTA is disinfecting all fleet vehicles – buses, trolleys, subway cars, Commuter Rail coaches, ferries, and RIDE vehicles – every twenty-four hours, and protocols to clean and disinfect all high-contact surfaces on buses during mid-day layover periods. MBTA had also previously distributed personal protective gear including hand sanitizer, eyewear and gloves to bus and train operators.

Transportation key to CVD-19 battle

Poftak said the MBTA is monitoring service levels and ridership, which has been down by 80 percent, according to MBTA data. He added that if you experience overcrowding on a bus or trolley he wants to hear about it. “This is a challenging time and MBTA employees are essential people moving essential people.”

MBTA officials stressed that commuters should only travel by train and bus if absolutely necessary. The T said customers should “avoid any and all unnecessary service,” leaving the transportation for first responders, health care workers, grocery store employees and other travelers who rely on public transit to get to essential jobs.

“We will continue to support critical travel needs of those who are essential to slowing the spread of this virus,” said Poftak. “This service, along with the additional precautions we are implementing to protect the health and safety of our workforce, will ensure we can continue to provide critical transportation services.” {Jenna Fisher, Patch 10.Apr.2020}