NYPD considering HOV limits in case of coronavirus transit shutdown

Police officials are contemplating restricting weekday access to arterial roads that feed into Manhattan to vehicles with four or more passengers if coronavirus forces the closure of the city’s transit system, according to internal docs obtained by The Post.

Commercial vehicles would be banned from entering Manhattan on weekdays between 5 a.m. and 11 p.m., while the occupancy restrictions would lighten up to two passengers on weekends.

The plan “was utilized during the 2005 Transit Strike and proved to be effective,” according to the documents.

Transit strikes are the model for any type of transit shutdown, former MTA employees told The Post.

Even if regular service is suspended, the MTA has to keep staff on hand to patrol the stations that don’t have secure gates, and run ghost trains to prevent tracks from rusting over.

“During a shutdown, there are people at work,“ said one former transit staffer familiar with the agency’s past strike plans. “The building’s not completely empty, so to speak. There are maybe five or 10 trains going all over the system.”

The MTA’s buses, commuter rails and subways carry over 7 million riders per day. Subway ridership was down 18.5 percent on Wednesday, according to agency stats.

Agency officials have repeatedly said this week that they will keep the system open as long as public health officials say it’s okay.

“We’re going to be driven by the advice of the medical and the public health professionals. At the end of the day it’s a decision that would be made by Governor Cuomo,” Chairman Pat Foye said on Fox 5 Friday morning.

“We’ve got at the MTA, contingency plans on top of contingency plans,” Foye said.

Roads and highways impacted under the potential NYPD-enforced HOV restrictions include segments of the Long Island and Bruckner expressways, FDR Drive, Harlem River Drive and the Henry Hudson and Grand Central parkways.

As of 1 p.m. Friday, the NYPD had no received any orders to shut down transit, police sources said.

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