Hey, RIOC! Who’s minding the store? #1,078


It’s a Friday morning rush, and a resident reports, “3 separate maskless riders on the 9:15 (non-express) and one of them is actively coughing.” But he has seen, photographed and reported similar before. And after all these months of COVID cases, RIOC has not changed. Well, really, it has. It got worse.

by David Stone

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

Even after the Tram tightened up COVID precautions, arming operators with face masks, making clear announcements and enforcing rules, RIOC’s hapless on-Island team doesn’t get it. Or doesn’t care. (The Tram is not operated by RIOC)

An infant, face mostly obscured, rides in a row with three maskless riders. Infants are too young for vaccinations so far, and she is unprotected.

COVID infections are on the rise across the U.S. and one county – Alameda in California – restarted its mask mandate. There’s a simple way of preventing that here: Follow the guidance concerning face masks and social distancing.

But some people won’t without encouragement or even enforcement, when necessary. RIOC doesn’t get that, and Roosevelt Islanders, including infants, get exposed every day, just by using needed public transit.

Claiming the front seat where boarding passengers must pass while she chats on her phone.

How do face masks help prevent the spreading of COVID infections?

Face masks are meant to protect other people in case the mask wearer is infected with COVID-19. The CDC says a face mask “covers your nose and mouth to help prevent the spread of germs.”

“Masks are most likely to reduce the spread of COVID-19 when they are widely used by people in public settings,” the CDC adds. “Masks should be used as part of a comprehensive strategy of measures to suppress and control COVID-19 in public settings, especially where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.”

Another maskless passenger hops on, coffee and cellphone in hand, putting others at risk with no interference from RIOC.

The bottom line is that wearing a face mask helps protect other people, and it’s something we should all be doing whenever we’re in public.

But here on Roosevelt Island

Roosevelt Island, layered in direct taxes at four levels, may be the highest taxed community in America. But your taxes, including around $30 million annually paying for RIOC, are probably the worst investment you will ever make.

“For some reason,” our reader wrote, “the Express bus hasn’t arrived and this bus has been sitting here since before the departure time of 9:08……so it seems they have a shortage of buses or drivers today also.”

That also earned them extra exposure from a collection of five maskless passengers undisturbed by drivers or PSD.

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