More than six months since the pandemic began, the MTA has begun setting up mobile trailers outside some train terminals for workers to use during breaks, in an attempt to provide more social distancing for employees.

In the early days of the pandemic, some MTA employees, who are classified as essential workers, complained about overcrowded, windowless break rooms at terminals in Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx. The tight spaces worried workers, who felt they were placed in a vulnerable position as more and more employees were getting sick.

131 subway and bus workers have died from COVID-19, with thousands more sickened. The once 24-hour system is now closed nightly from 1 to 5 a.m. so that crews can disinfect subway cars as a way of minimizing the spread.

The MTA has been letting workers take lunch breaks on out-of-service trains and buses as another way of maintaining distance during the pandemic.

The new trailers are equipped with a table, chairs, electricity and a strong HVAC system, which health experts say is critical for reducing the chances for airborne viral transmission. Masks must still be worn inside break rooms, according to the Transit Workers Union Local 100, representing MTA workers.

“Having these trailer will give our train crews another room, another place, where they can take their break, where they can their lunch, and not be on top of one another,” Eric Loegel, vice president for Rapid Transit Operations at TWU Local 100, told Gothamist/WNYC.

Loegel said the first mobile trailers will be available at Ditmars Boulevard in Astoria on the N and W line, followed by Metropolitan M terminal in Middle Village, and the Crown Heights Utica terminal on the 4 line. He expects several more to arrive soon. On top of these trailers, the TWU's website states the MTA is also planning to "lease additional office space"to serve as break rooms.

“With the possibility of a second wave and cold and flu season,” Loegel said, “we think it's even more important to have additional space for our train operating crews to spread out and be safe.”

Frank Jezycki, the Acting Senior Vice President for Subways for MTA New York City Transit, said in a statement, "We are being proactive in areas where we have challenges with social distancing due to existing space constraints. We want to create the safest possible working environment for our employees and we take the risks associated with COVID incredibly seriously."