April 14, 2020
MTA, Amtrak, NJ Transit, Port Authority and Regional Transit Agencies Launch April 16 #SoundTheHorn Campaign
Trains, Buses and Ferries Will Give Two Horn Blasts at 3 p.m. on Thursday, April 16
Coalition of Transportation Agencies Join in Solidarity to Honor Transportation Workers Across the Region
Action Advances MTA’s #HeroesMovingHeroes Campaign Paying Tribute to 74,000 Incredible MTA Workers
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), together with Amtrak, NJ TRANSIT, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, NYC Ferry and other regional bus and ferry operators today launched a coordinated day of action to simultaneously sound their fleets of train, bus and boat horns on April 16 to honor heroic transportation workers across the region. As a tribute to #HeroesMovingHeroes on the front lines of this public health crisis, all trains and buses running in service will give two one-second horn blasts at 3:00 p.m. in solidarity with partner agencies. Heroic transportation workers continue to provide critical service for healthcare workers, first responders, childcare workers, grocery store employees and other heroes who are performing critically essential work during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The sounding of horns advances the MTA’s #HeroesMovingHeroes campaign, which is dedicated to honoring the agency’s employees. The campaign was first launched on April 6 and features heroic frontline transportation workers who continue to go above and beyond the call of duty during this challenging time. The coalition of agencies invites transit agencies across the country to participate in the day of action.
“Our employees are heroes,” said MTA Chairman and CEO Patrick J. Foye. “They 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.”
“Every hero deserves to be recognized and thanked for their courage, selflessness and the help they are providing to this country during this time,” said Amtrak Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Operating and Commercial Officer Stephen Gardner. “We are proud to participate with our partners and ‘sound our horns’ by honoring and thanking all of the heroes in the New York metropolitan area and across the nation who continue their essential and heroic service.”
“Our region’s frontline transit employees deserve all the thanks and recognition we can give them right now,” said NJ TRANSIT President & CEO Kevin Corbett. “This effort is a small yet powerful way for us to show our appreciation for the brave, selfless transit workers who continue to show up every day, under some of the most challenging conditions any of us have ever seen. They are moving essential personnel like hospital workers, first responders, and others who are literally working to save lives. By extension, these frontline transit employees are also helping to save lives, and performing a vital public service.”
“The essential workers who operate and maintain our transportation systems are committed to keeping the region’s first responders, healthcare workers, grocery and delivery workers, and all other essential workers moving to where they need to go safely, reliably, and efficiently,” said Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton. “The Port Authority is proud to join our transportation partners in honoring the heroes moving heroes.”
“The Staten Island Ferry is honored to help transport these Heroes between Manhattan and Staten Island and to #SoundTheHorn on Thursday along with our regional partners,” said New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “While ridership is down nearly 90 percent and Ferry personnel ranks have been reduced by COVID-19 our employees remain dedicated to providing this critical transportation service for our essential workers as we all confront these challenges. I thank all the region’s transportation workers for their incredible commitment and service.”
The partner agencies expect that there will be nearly 4,400 trains, buses and ferries in service on Thursday afternoon to participate in the coordinated sounding of horns. The entire family of MTA agencies will participate, including New York City Transit’s subways and buses, the Long Island Rail Road, and Metro-North Railroad. MTA Bridges and Tunnels crew members operating maintenance vehicles will also participate.
Anyone who sees or hears trains, buses or ferries sounding their horns at 3 p.m. on Thursday is encouraged to use the #SoundTheHorn hashtag to post audio and video, and tag the agency on the platform of their choice.
“I’m tremendously grateful for our NYC Ferry employees and all other transit staff showing up for work every day to get essential workers where they need to be,” said NYCEDC President and CEO James Patchett. “Today, as we sound our horns around the harbor, I hope everyone can take a moment to recognize the heroes providing critical transportation service for so many of their fellow New Yorkers.”
NY Waterway Founder & President Arthur E. Imperatore said: “NY Waterway honors all those who put themselves at risk, medical personnel, first responders, workers in all fields, and the transportation employees, including our ferry crews, who create the links that bind us in these challenging times. We urge everyone to pray for their safety.”
Jack Khzouz, Chief Executive Officer, NICE Bus said: “We’re transporting real-life heroes every day on NICE Bus. Nassau County residents depend on essential employees in healthcare, supermarkets, and other services to do their jobs so we can all be safe. Likewise, I couldn’t be prouder of our NICE Bus employees for their extraordinary efforts to keep the buses moving reliably and safely. It’s our honor at NICE Bus to sound the horn in solidarity to support our heroes.”
Connecticut Transportation Commissioner Joseph Giulietti said: “Connecticut is pleased to participate in this action. It is a fitting way to acknowledge the selfless, heroic efforts our state's transit workers are making every day throughout this pandemic that ensures we can continue to provide our essential bus and rail service.”
Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro said: “Dutchess County’s public transit buses and Department of Public Works vehicles will proudly join in to acknowledge ‘Heroes Moving Heroes’ and all those maintaining our critical transportation infrastructure not just in our region, but around the state of New York.”
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said: “As we support our courageous first responders with this united tribute, let’s also recognize our transit workers, the unsung heroes keeping society running and safely getting our first responders and essential workers to the front lines. I hope everyone hears these sirens — our way to communicate our solidarity and appreciation.”
Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus said: “#HeroesMovingHeroes provides us with another way to support our brave and hard-working transit workers. We have been inspired by the dedication and resiliency of these men and women. Their ability to meet the needs of our first responders and other essential workers who are performing critical work during this unprecedented time should be commended.”
Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell said: “Putnam County salutes the courageous men and women of PART, our county’s fixed-route and paratransit bus service, and all our sister agencies in the region. We will be proud to participate in #SoundTheHorn campaign as a representative of smaller transit agencies around the region that are continuing to provide service during the pandemic.”
Rockland County Executive Ed Day said: "We salute our bus drivers here in Rockland County and throughout the region. These are the heroes who are out there every day, continuing to serve our residents who are essential workers and those who rely on transit to access necessary goods and vital medical services. The Transport of Rockland and TRIPS paratransit drivers here in Rockland County truly are heroes driving heroes, and we are grateful for their service."
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said: "Everyday our Suffolk County Transit workers help ensure their fellow essential workers make it to work safe and sound to help us fight this crisis," said Suffolk County Executive Bellone. "Just like we have done for our healthcare workers and first responders, we are standing together in solidarity with our transportation workers across the region and our 190 buses in service on Thursday we will be sounding their horns loud and proud to thank their counterparts for their brave efforts."
Westchester County Executive George Latimer said: “While we are doing all we can to keep these men and woman safe, these workers are heroes. I applaud their courage and commitment to their community. I want to thank them for all they are doing, and fully support honking all horns for these hard-working men and women.”