Flourishing Again Already: Maskless Riders on Red Buses

Start

Maskless riders on Red Buses flourish again after a few days of show by RIOC’s Public Safety Department. In the last ten days, Roosevelt Island’s coronavirus positivity jumped from 0% to 1.73%. It’s rising, but the state’s efforts aren’t up to the challenge.

By David Stone

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

It’s not just maskless riders on Red Buses that signal the state’s failures at promoting coronavirus protection. Last year, when infections first swelled through Roosevelt Island, RIOC was front and center in setting a healthy example.

Susan Rosenthal with coronavirus face mask
Before her unexpected firing, RIOC president/CEO Susan Rosenthal led the charge against the coronavirus.

Weekly bulletins from RIOC were filled with how-tos about coronavirus safety. But that was then, when we had Terrence McCauley, a professional public relations specialist, and a president/CEO with her head on her shoulders.

And this is now…

Maskless riders welcome on Red Buses

In witnessing the hazardous state of things on Red Buses, not a lot of time is needed. These photos were taken on two bus rides, totaling no more than twenty minutes.

Most passengers, the majority by far, mask up on boarding or are already masked. But violators are consistent.

And while they try, drivers should not be enforcers. It doesn’t come with the job, and they have plenty else to look out for. Like cramped streets and crosswalks.

PSD could help, as one driver told me, but they don’t, nor reliably anyway.

Soccer players on a free ride…

The team of soccer players, maskless riders, hopped on at the subway, through the back door but were clearly in view of the driver. Before getting off at McManus Field, they filled up the seats reserved for seniors.

When the driver paused on schedule at the Octagon, I asked him about it.

“They sneak in through the back door,” he said.

If they refused to mask up, what choices had he?

“I could call PSD,” he said, but stopping a bus full of people heading home on Friday made little sense.

Noting that sometimes officers board for spot checks, it’s not consistent and only at a single location where they never leave eyesight of their comfortable headquarters.

He could use some more help, the driver told me.

A driver wades in with maskless riders, but then retreats…

Young couple with masks.

When a young couple entered the front of the next bus, the driver acted swiftly, telling them face masks were required, handing out a pair from his supply. They cheerfully agreed, and we rode on without maskless riders.

Until…

The man standing at the center got on with his face mask down to his chin, never pulling it up at any time.

How must the young man and woman have felt, after complying with the driver’s request, then watching an older man go uninterrupted?

This violation was worse because this maskless rider barked into his phone all the way, a perfect spreader standing right over the driver and only feet from other passengers.

But then, a final touch of graceless disregard for everyone else….

Another rider sneaked in, maskless, through the back door, her companion trailing behind.

Just as the first driver reported, passengers sneak in through the back door, these two carrying drinks, also not allowed, supposedly, on Red Buses.

Conclusion: Maskless Riders on Red Buses

If not to protect us from risks forced on us by people who refuse wearing masks on public transit, why are we paying PSD $4 million every year? For a bloated staff of 50, mostly invisible and/or motionless.

And where’s management? Hiding in Blackwell House, for one, but the problem goes deeper.

When, in the wake of an organized effort forcing Susan Rosenthal out, her replacement, Shelton J. Haynes, blew up RIOC’s communications efforts, he promoted insiders for staffing an alleged Communications Team.

Trouble was, none of them had any experience in the field, and the failings show up daily.

While coronavirus infections rise, aged and inaccurate signs, small and tucked out of sight, are the only lingering indication on Red Buses that RIOC once cared about doing its job.

A RIOC Advisories system repeatedly blasts cookie cutter, redundant announcements about minor events but coronavirus guidance never spills out. Not these days.

Maskless riders on Red Buses put at risk everyone else, but we see every day that RIOC is not up to the challenge.

How long must the most heavily taxed community in America continue paying for these failures?

More from the Roosevelt Island Daily News

  • Rebecca Seawright: Keep Roosevelt Island in Manhattan Assembly District
    Using forceful language and logic, 76th District State Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright argued in favor of Roosevelt Islanders’ interests. Her message, delivered for a Districting Commission hearing, reasoned against a proposed map that shifts the community’s representation into Queens. Seawright has represented Roosevelt Island and the Upper East Side since 2015. The Roosevelt Island Daily
  • Is there a connection between school bullying and mental health?
    School bullying is a serious problem that can have lasting consequences for both the victims and the perpetrators. Some experts believe that there may be a link between school bullying and mental health problems. If you or someone you know is being bullied, it’s important to get help. by David Stone School bullying among children
  • Why did the counterculture start? How it’s reflected today
    In the late 1960s, young people across America were rebelling against the “square” Establishment. They started the counterculture movement with changes in music, fashion, and lifestyle. But why did this counterculture start? Let’s take a look at the reasons behind the rebellion. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, young people challenged traditional values The
  • What Does Free Thinking Mean Now? Lessons From the Counterculture
    “You’re never too old to learn,” people say. And they’re right – I’m currently learning about the art of free-thinking from the hippie counterculture. It’s been an interesting (and somewhat eye-opening) experience, to say the least. Here are some of the lessons I’ve learned so far… by David Stone The allure of “free love” and
  • OMNY and the Roosevelt Island Tram Now Edge Closer
    Testifying before state lawmakers yesterday, MTA chief Janno Lieber answered a question about OMNY and the Roosevelt Island Tram. It wasn’t great, but it was much better than the hardball his agency took last November. by David Stone The Roosevelt Island Daily News According to an article in STREETSBLOG NYC, Lieber said that OMNY is

Leave a Reply

Previous Story

Seen on Wednesday, a new addition to the maskless on the Red Bus Hall of Shame

Next Story

Do ugly benches now forecast a sad future for Southpoint Park?

Latest from Roosevelt Island News

0 $0.00
%d bloggers like this: