Special Report

Shutdown: The Coronavirus

Commuting in a pandemic world

The view of Newark, New Jersey through a NJ Transit car. November 20, 2020. Photo by Michelle Diaz

Commuting has changed drastically in the last year since the pandemic hit the United States. The world has slowed down, more people are working from home, and public transportation has quieted down.

The train and Path cars are so overcrowded to the point that New Yorkers are opting for riding bikes to work.There is an eeriness that lingers through the NJ Transit, the Path stations, and the subways of New York. It’s like nothing any commuter has ever seen before in the over populated tri-state area. 

People who rely on public transportation for their daily commute are potentially exposing themselves everyday. After 4 p.m. during rush hour, social distancing doesn’t exist. Certain subway and Path lines still get stuffed like sardine cans. Everyone is obligated to wear a mask while taking public transportation. The MTA issues $50 fines to anyone not wearing masks, yet there are people who still refuse to follow the covid safety guidelines. Coronavirus cases are increasing each day in New Jersey and New York and many commuters are in constant worry of their safety.

Between the months of October and November, I rode NJ Transit from Elizabeth, New Jersey, to the Q subway line that takes you to Coney Island, and everything in-between to photograph what the new version of commuting looks like. Here is what I encountered above and underground. 

A person sits looking at their phone while riding the NJ Transit towards Newark Penn Station. October 26, 2020. Photo by Michelle Diaz

A person reading on the Path from New Jersey to New York. November 9, 2020. Photo by Michelle Diaz

A person carries flowers off the Path at Newark Penn Station in New Jersey. October 27, 2020. Photo by Michelle Diaz

A person sleeps on the subway in Manhattan, New York. November 17, 2020. Photo by Michelle Diaz

People on the subway in Manhattan, New York. November 14, 2020. Photo by Michelle Diaz

People on the D subway line heading to Coney Island, New York. November 17, 2020. Photo by Michelle Diaz

People coming and going from the Path at the World Trade Center Station. November 3, 2020. Photo by Michelle Diaz

A person sleeping listening to their earphones on the L train in Brooklyn, New York. November 20, 2020. Photo by Michelle Diaz

A family on the Q subway line going to Coney Island, New York. November 25, 2020. Photo by Michelle Diaz

The subway doors close as a person looks into the subway car. November 25, 2020. Photo by Michelle Diaz

A person taking the Q subway line to Coney Island, New York. November 25, 2020. Photo by Michelle Diaz

The view of Luna Park at Coney Island, New York though the Q subway line. November 25, 2020. Photo by Michelle Diaz




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