MTA honcho ‘losing patience’ with NYC on subway homeless

The city is not being aggressive enough to address subway homelessness during the coronavirus pandemic, said interim transit president Sarah Feinberg, who is “losing patience with the situation.”

“We … urge the city to take more aggressive steps to address this problem. It is, without a doubt, a city obligation and responsibility,” Feinberg told reporters Wednesday during a video press conference following the MTA’s April board meeting.

“We stay in close contact with the NYPD and the city, but I think it’s safe to say everyone here is losing patience with the situation.”

Feinberg said homelessness must be addressed to ensure there is space on trains for essential workers to safely socially distance.

“At any given moment, it makes for an experience on the system that is problematic for our ridership. In this moment, it is not appropriate given the folks we are carrying,” she said.

Feinberg’s boss, MTA chairman Pat Foye, previously insisted the appearance of growing numbers of homeless people on the subways was a trick of the eye caused by fewer riders.

Advocates for the homeless have called on the city to provide “tens of thousands” of hotel rooms where the unsheltered can be safely isolated from the public and the disease. The city has provided a fraction of that.

Responding to Feinberg’s comment, the city Department of Social Services said city outreach crews “continue their 24/7/365 outreach, helping unsheltered New Yorkers experiencing homelessness come in off the streets and subways into transitional and permanent housing.”

“We’ve implemented citywide protocols to ensure anyone who expresses symptoms is connected to hospital care if needed or to dedicated isolation units for monitoring and recovery,” said the spokesman, Isaac McGinn.

Source: NY Post

Categories: U.S., World

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