It’s all in your head.
The number of homeless people seeking refuge in the subway system amid the coronavirus pandemic isn’t as high as it seems, MTA Chairman Pat Foye claimed Monday — it just looks bad because there are fewer other straphangers.
“There are fewer people overall on the subways, which makes, frankly, the homeless situation appear bigger,” Foye said on WNYC radio in response to a listener question about trains “completely taken over by the homeless.”
“A normal ridership on the subways has a social check in terms of the homeless,” Foye said, adding that NYPD and MTA cops have been tasked to “arrange for housing or support services” for vagrants residing in the subway.
“We’re doing everything we can to make sure the homeless get treated with respect and fairly, but also that they don’t interfere with this critical essential service that the MTA is running right now,” he said.
A veteran train conductor told The Post last week that they’d seen cars with “six or seven” homeless people “lying back to back.”
“People are there going to work worried about this virus,” the conductor said. “I got compassion too, but those people are going to work, paying $125 per month.”
Foye told host Brian Lehrer that the agency has too many workers out due to coronavirus to run more trains and alleviate crowding of both commuters and down-and-outs.
Nearly 600 agency employees have tested positive for COVID-19 and over 3,000 are in quarantine, Foye said.
“We do not have the ability to add additional service given the number of confirmed cases that we have at the MTA,” he said. “That’s just not an option right now.”
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