nycTransit_fa5.jpg1199SEIU members joined healthcare leaders, elected officials and public transportation advocates for a press conference at New York City Hall in lower Manhattan to announce a new report from the Center for an Urban Future that reveals New York City’s healthcare workers face the worst commutes of workers in any industry. The study attributes the disparity to service gaps in the city’s public transportation system disproportionately affecting the outlying areas in boroughs outside Manhattan. The report found that public transportation-dependent workers have the longest median commutes – 51.2 minutes – and that commute times increased almost eight minutes between 1990 and 2015. Healthcare workers bore the brunt of these changes, with more caregivers taking the bus to work every day than all other city industries combined. Homecare workers Anna Couch and Maria Arrieta and Secretary Treasurer Maria Castaneda represented 1199SEIU. “I wake up at 5:30. I have to be to my client at 8.00 a.m. I take two trains and a bus,” said Arrieta. “I’m punctual because I wake up very early and I leave my house early, but no everyone can do that. I hear about the difficulties my co-workers have all the time.” The new report made a number of recommendations to improve mass transit, including investments in transit outside of Manhattan, congestion pricing with a portion of revenue used to improve transit outside Manhattan and a bus rescue plan to improve reliability of bus service. “I live on Staten Island and I work in Brooklyn. My work day is at least 10 hours long,” said Anna Couch. “These transit problems affect me and my client. They jeopardize my job and the quality of my work.”

Read the article in the New York Times