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Metro-North: 90% drop in rail ridership, schedules plan for essential workers

Connecticut

(WTNH) — With the coronavirus pandemic forcing people to work from home, the MTA is reporting a steep drop in ridership. The next step? Rolling out a new plan just for essential workers like doctors, who are on the front lines of this crisis.

Rail ridership is down 90 percent- this is a historic low for MTA. Now they’re rolling out an Essential Service Plan.

RELATED: Metro-North now shutting down ticket windows, cleaning daily to protect against spread of coronavirus

Specifically, the Metro-North railroad has seen a 94 percent decline in ridership as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Beginning on Friday, March 27, Metro-North will provide hourly service on the Harlem, Hudson and New Haven lines. ‬ Normal weekday capacity will be reduced by approximately 50 percent.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, MTA has instituted aggressive disinfecting procedures at each of its stations twice daily, and continue daily sanitizing of its fleet. These enhanced efforts are expected to cost about $300 million annually,

MTA is calling on Congress to include $25 billion in funding specifically for mass transit across the country so they can continue operating during the crisis.

RELATED: Groton Public Schools prepared for distance learning thanks to early planning amid coronavirus outbreak

These changes come as the tri-state area has called on people to stay home and only travel if essential.

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