Maskless riders continue endangering other passengers on Roosevelt Island Red Buses. As we reported only a few days ago, drivers ignore violations of New York State as well as RIOC’s own rules. RIOC managers pulling down six figure salaries for small jobs do nothing.
By David Stone
The federal Centers for Disease Control’s guidelines require face masks for all passengers on public transit, whether vaccinated or not. And New York State echoes that rule. So does RIOC, according to them, but reality is a different story.
This is far from trivial. Many children not yet eligible for vaccines ride Red Buses, and the unknown hazards of coronavirus variants may threaten even fully vaccinated adults.
But as we see from the stream of photos we receive, maskless riders are a daily experience.
RIOC and Maskless Riders
Transportation manager Cy Opperman insists that all Red Bus drivers have been reminded of the rules after a reported incident, this week. But the same driver who provoked the initial report was at the wheel when these photos were taken, yesterday.
Other drivers share her indifference.
Opperman claims that all drivers carry boxes of spare face masks, and each has a radio for summoning PSD over maskless riders. But the first is untrue, as we know from our own experience, and the second is meaningless.
Residents fork over $4 million a year for a Public Safety Department where a bloated, 50 member staff is rarely seen. They cruise around in a fleet of cars, not Red Buses.
It’s no secret that coronavirus awareness and precautions took a back seat with RIOC, following Susan Rosenthal’s firing in 2020. Detailed weekly reminders vanished and posted public advisories were left hanging on buses and tram cabins, months out of date.
The conclusion is obvious. RIOC is simply not going to help, no matter how much we pump into their coffers. Executives pulling down six-figure salaries cannot or will not manage.
But residents can do it right themselves, respecting their neighbors.
A friendly reminder helps, but confrontations are out.
And if you’re one of those maskless riders, please do your neighbors a favor. Wearing a face mask on Red Buses is the right thing to do, and who wants to be as thoughtless and uncaring as RIOC?
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