“Cars are the past, the future is going to be mass transit, biking, walking…I’m never going to own a car again, I can tell you that much,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters during a press conference on Thursday. Many New York residents have omitted their use of public transit systems due to concerns about reigniting a COVID-19 outbreak.
De Blasio conceded, “People are concerned about their health and safety, I totally understand that.” But he also noted an increase in recent subway riders. De Blasio gave an update on the rate of infection in the city, stating that the number of new cases has dropped to just one percent. The mayor believes the end of the pandemic may be in sight, suggesting a vaccine will be available in 2021.
During his tenure, de Blasio has worked to implement several vehicle-free zones throughout Manhattan. A growing fear expressed among city leaders like de Blasio suggests that New Yorkers moving away from mass transit to personal vehicles will create even more congestion throughout the city.
Many New Yorkers have expressed their frustration and concerns with de Blasio’s comments.
Transportation reporter David Slotnick responded on Twitter saying, “These are empty words unless the city builds and maintains the infrastructure people need to get around without cars during COVID. The de Blasio administration has been soundly criticized for ignoring this.”
Award-winning journalist Lidia Curanaj tweeted, “Says the guy who is chauffeured everywhere and never takes mass transit, unlike his predecessor.”
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