Advice on Commuting Safely in NYC

Although COVID-19 continues to spread, many New Yorkers still have to go about their daily lives, whether this means making it to work, rushing to an appointment, or running errands. However, this also means that extra precautions must be taken to curb the transmission of the virus. 

Commuting is unavoidable for many, despite there being several potential risks in doing so. From being in close contact with others, to touching dirty handrails, and staying in a confined space for  a prolonged period, it just takes one infected person for the virus to spread. 

Naturally, if you are feeling even the slightest of symptoms, it’s best to stay home. You do not want to put more people at risk. Should you need to commute, have your guard up at all times. Minimize contact, have alcohol or hand sanitizer at your disposal, and wear the necessary protective gear to keep germs at bay. 

Public transport, in particular, is a breeding ground for the transmission of the virus. While these tips are directed towards subways and buses, remember that you should still remain vigilant even when using bikes, scooters, or private vehicles. 

We want to help you do your part in commuting safely in NYC, so we’ve asked a few people for their advice:

Avoid Rush Hour

My number one tip would be to avoid rush hour. Despite COVID making a mess of our daily schedules, certain times of day are still more likely to see a surge in traffic on public transportation. Consider heading to the office 30 minutes early and getting ahead of your emails, or, if your boss allows, start your morning slow and head to work a little later. Not only will you avoid huge crowds—you might also get that coveted subway seat.

Wear Two Masks

My best advice is to wear two masks for commuting safely in NYC. This can be done with a surgical mask under a cloth mask, or two cloth masks, if you don’t have KN95 or other top-grade proven mask to wear on the subway. Wearing two masks is a safer way to commute and be in tighter less-ventilated spaces than wearing only one mask and this is why we recommend it.

Put on Gloves

Even if there are disinfecting measures in place in the subways and other public transit systems, you should still protect yourself as much as possible. Wearing one-time use gloves will help with that, since you’ll be touching a lot of surfaces when commuting. Make sure you carefully and properly dispose of the gloves after as well.

  • Candace Helton, Operations Director of Ringspo

Use Contactless Payments 

Try to make payments online as much as possible. It will keep you safe from getting infected.

  • Jesse Lingard, Digital Writer and Editor of Ranksoldier

Maintain Physical Distancing

Keep a minimum of 6 feet (2 meters) apart from others to slow the spread of germs when possible. Also, follow signs and regulations. Vehicles may have restricted seating to ensure physical distancing. Be sure to adhere to those guidelines. Remember the importance of remaining flexible and patient. Because of the requirements for physical distancing, you may not be able to ride or board a particular train or bus. It’s always better to just adjust.

Pack an Extra Set of Clothes

If possible, have a pair of clothing that is for street use and for office use so potentially change your attire once you’re in the office or before returning to your home.

Use Other Modes of Transport if Possible

When you need to be somewhere, especially when traveling in and out of state, you may want to consider private transportation. This is one of the safest options! Renting a black car, sedan, or SUV can be especially helpful for corporate transportation to business meetings. Transportation companies are doing their part to provide safe, clean, and contactless service during this time.

If you have a bike, scooter, or any other mode of transport, these may be best to avoid close contact with strangers. 

In Conclusion

At times, it may seem like a sacrifice to tick off all of these boxes for the sake of remaining safe – especially when it seems like there is no end in sight. But, we all have a part to play in minimizing risk during the pandemic. These small acts are the least we can do to take the burden off of healthcare workers and frontliners who are working tirelessly in putting an end to this nightmare. In following these safety tips, you will not only be protecting yourself, but those around you as well.