#SoundTheHorn campaign to pay tribute to US transit workers during COVID-19 pandemic

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 11: A view of a sign inside the M15 bus during coronavirus pandemic on April 11, 2020 in New York City. COVID-19 has spread to most countries around the world, claiming over 108,000 lives with infections at over 1.7 million peopl

They’ve been dutifully transporting people during a time of global crisis. Now, the #SoundTheHorn campaign is paying tribute to the nation’s transportation workers.

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At 3 p.m. ET | 12 p.m. PT, trains, buses and ferries across the country will sound their horns as a show of solidarity to these essential employees.

The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and Bay Area Rapid Transit are among the transit organizations that will be participating.

Patrick Foye, chairman of New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), said that these workers “are courageously coming to work each day to perform their essential duties, which are critically important to this region during the pandemic.”

“We hope this action will draw attention to their efforts and help further our employees’ spirit of solidarity with all New Yorkers," Foye said.

Public transportation agencies are requesting that people share audio and video on social media of buses, trains and other vehicles sounding off their horns with the hashtag #SoundTheHorn while tagging their respective transportation organizations.

Public transportation usage has declined dramatically since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic as social distancing guidelines and lockdown orders are keeping passengers at home. 

In New York, ridership on subways, buses and railroads dropped more than 80% since COVID-19 restrictions went into place. The MTA itself asked for a bailout to keep operations afloat.

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While public transportation agencies face struggles amid the pandemic, data suggests that the lack of overall traffic across the country may be helping to reduce pollution.

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