The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced officials at New York City Transit surveyed mask usage and found that approximately 92% of subway riders are complying with the MTA’s requirement that all customers and employees wear a face covering on public transit.
Between Thursday, May 28, 2020 and Thursday, June 04, 2020, MTA personnel visited 23 different stations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx that were found to have relatively high ridership. Out of the 47,599 riders that were counted, 43,709 were wearing masks. Public health experts say to have useful impact compliance needs to be at least 70% and they recommend for essential protection it be above 95%. Research has found that wearing a face covering can reduce the rate of COVID-19 transmission significantly.
“I want to thank the 92% of our riders who are wearing masks while riding public transit, said New York City Transit Interim President Sarah Feinberg. “The goal is to see 100% of our customers wearing face coverings. It is the single most important thing that riders can do to protect themselves, their follow commuters and our employees.”
“We have seen substantial compliance with our subway and bus customers wearing a mask and we want to get 100% compliance systemwide – it protects you, it protects those around you and it helps us crush the curve,” said Pat Warren, MTA Chief Safety Officer. “We will be distributing more than 2 million masks this week to customers who need them, will have hand sanitizer across our system and new signs to help New Yorkers spread out. Everyone is required to wear a mask when riding with us – it is a sign of respect for everyone.”
Beginning on Monday, June 08, 2020, when New York City begins Phase 1 reopening, the MTA will distribute 2 million masks that were contributed by the State and the City. In the coming days, MTA personnel and volunteers will be out in the system, offering riders a mask if they have not brought one. Masks are also for sale at retail locations at surrounding subway and bus stations and stops. We ask our riders to follow all public health guidance, including washing hands, not touching faces and coughing into elbows. Although service is returning to pre-pandemic levels, public transit is still for essential and Phase 1 workers.