The following is a statement from MTA Chief Safety Officer Pat Warren on the MTA’s Pandemic Plan:
“The MTA’s long-standing pandemic plan, which is updated regularly, is a blueprint that guides the agency’s response in accordance with federal, state and local authorities and enables us to quickly adapt to the dynamic nature of these emergency situations in real time. The plan includes stockpiling appropriate resources. What it did not contemplate was that medical guidance during this specific pandemic would be to not use certain stockpiled items for all employees. We are no longer following that guidance, and decided last week to deploy resources regardless.
“Here are the facts on what supplies the MTA has been distributing to operating employees: 240,000 masks, 3.2 million gloves to those whose jobs require it, 45,000 bottles of hand sanitizer, 50,000 gallons of cleaning supplies and 7,000 boxes of sanitizing wipes since the pandemic began.
“Additionally, the MTA continues to replenish and maintain a stockpile of these essential items so that we can continue to distribute them as we have not yet reached the apex of the crisis and expect it to continue for some time. It is crucial that we have the ability to protect our workforce and customers, not just today – but going forward during this unprecedented event.
“In addition to these actions, the MTA has taken a number of aggressive steps to ensure worker safety, including reducing the number of crews that need to come in, implementing rear-door boarding to ensure social distance for bus operators, eliminating cash transactions, and disinfecting workplaces, trains, buses and all rolling stock, among other steps.
“Transit workers are heroes and we will continue to work with our partners in labor on these critically important issues just as we have since day one.”