The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced it will have distributed a total of 2.4 million masks and 4.8 million pairs of gloves this week across New York City Transit, the MTA Bus Company, Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad, MTA Bridges and Tunnels, MTA Police Department and MTA Construction & Development. The personal protective equipment distributed includes a total of 1.3 million N95 and KN95 masks and 1.1 million surgical masks.
“Our commitment to distribute personal protective equipment to our frontline employees started at the very beginning of March, and our efforts have not slowed down procuring millions of pieces of PPE to protect the health and safety of our workforce,” said Patrick Warren, MTA Chief Safety Officer. “Our work continues non-stop to supply the brave men and women of the MTA with the equipment they need as they have been the heroes moving heroes of this pandemic.”
The MTA has taken aggressive action to battle the COVID-19 pandemic since it first arrived in New York. To further protect employees, since March 01, 2020, the MTA has distributed 33,000 gallons of hand sanitizer, including 121,000 small bottles, 2.6 million individual sanitizing cleaning wipes and 108,000 gallons of cleaning solutions.
Recently, 40 pallets of New York State Clean hand sanitizer were delivered from the state to the MTA’s central storehouse totaling 7,680 gallons.
As a global leader among transportation agencies the MTA led the way by enforcing its own internal guidelines adopting widespread use of masks for both workers and riders before the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reversed course changing its prior recommendation that the general public did not need to wear a mask during the pandemic.
All MTA employees and riders must wear a mask while on public transportation.
Additionally, the MTA is protecting its frontline employees and other essential employees who use the system by rolling out its most aggressive cleaning and disinfecting regimen in its history. MTA trains and buses are being disinfected at least once a day and stations are being disinfected at least twice daily.
Recently, the MTA launched an ultraviolet (UV) light pilot program to kill COVID-19 with the first phase launched on subways, buses, and other New York City Transit facilitates. If successful, the UV pilot will expand to the two commuter railroads.
Other innovative steps to protect the MTA workforce and riders include: the MTA launching the “Temperature Brigade,” taking the temperature of employees at work locations, implementing rear-door boarding on buses, eliminating cash transactions at stations and on commuter rails to prevent person-to-person contact and installing plexiglass shields at more than 250 work locations to protect subway and bus employees.