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MTA Worker Vaccination Rate Reaches Nearly 60% As Ridership Improves

Patrick Cashin

Almost 60% of Metropolitan Transportation Agency employees have gotten their COVID-19 vaccines. This comes after the agency has pulled the death benefit for any unvaccinated employees who die from the virus. 

The agency extended the $500,000 death benefit this week to the survivors of vaccinated workers who die from the virus.

Vincent Tessitore Jr. is the LIRR Union Representative on the MTA Board. He told the agency’s safety committee on Monday there are plenty of workers that would leave the job if forced to be vaccinated.

MTA employees will be required to undergo weekly testing starting next month if they do not inform the agency of their vaccination status.

Over 170 MTA employees have died from the virus since the pandemic began — 40 of them died this year.

Meanwhile, public transit ridership in New York hit its highest levels since the start of the pandemic.

Governor Kathy Hochul said this shows New Yorkers are returning to school, the workplace and bringing the economy back with them.

The Metro-North Railroad has carried more than 100,000 riders every weekday since Labor Day. The LIRR saw more than 135,000 weekday customers.

That’s less than half of the 300,000 average daily riders before the coronavirus.