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NYC workers will ‘make their own choices’ for transportation: de Blasio


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Mayor Bill de Blasio sounded less than enthusiastic about telling New Yorkers to get back on the city’s subways and buses when New York starts reopening from its coronavirus lockdown.

“For the next few months people are going to make their own choices,” de Blasio said when asked how people would actually get back to work Thursday at his coronavirus briefing from City Hall.

“Some people are going to come to mass transit, some are not, we just have to be honest and real about that. You may see people use their cars more in the short term if they have a car or use for-hire vehicles,” he said.

“I’m not telling people, ‘Let’s go rushing ahead with something,’ if we don’t have all the facts yet,” he said.

City officials have a meeting with MTA Chairman Pat Foye Thursday to work out a plan for safe use of mass transit during the pandemic.

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“We need something that will limit the number of people that get into each subway car and each bus,” de Blasio said, but refused to answer a question about capacity targets. London’s public transit system is only carrying 15 percent of its usual ridership.

De Blasio has said the city’s manufacturing, construction, wholesale and limited retail sectors will be online by June 15, bringing between 200,000 and 400,000 people back to work.

A spokeswoman for the MTA did not immediately comment.

City Council Speaker Corey Johnson (D-Manhattan) said earlier this week that the rules should already be in place.

“We should have spent the last two months planning for this,”

Johnson told The Post Tuesday. “Now we’re a few weeks away from hundreds of thousands — if not millions — of New Yorkers restarting their commutes and not knowing how to get to work safely,” he said.

On Thursday, de Blasio suggested some straphangers may be wary about returning to the rails because of all the homeless people sleeping underground during the coronavirus outbreak and instances of packed cars.

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“We’ve heard from the essential workers even before this that they wanted to see improvements in mass transit. They wanted to see it cleaner, they wanted to see more social distancing, they had seen some instances of overcrowding,” de Blasio said.

Those same concerns could help control capacity as the city continues to battle the pandemic.

“That’s one of the things that will keep the ridership a little lower in the short term,” de Blasio said.

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