The Metropolitan Transportation Authority today announced it reached a significant milestone this week reaching 5 million masks and 7 million pairs of gloves distributed across New York City Transit, MTA Bus Company, Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad, MTA Bridges and Tunnels, MTA Police Department and MTA Construction & Development since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March. The personal protective equipment distributed to MTA heroic frontline employees includes 2.7 million N95 and KN95 masks and 2.3 million surgical masks. All customers and employees must wear a mask while on public transit.
“We remain focused on providing the necessary personal protective equipment to ensure the brave and heroic employees of the MTA feel safe when they come to work,” said Sarah Feinberg, New York City Transit Interim President. “Safety is our number one principle and reaching this milestone only encourages us further to continue securing the necessary PPE our employees deserve.”
“We thank our employees for showing up to work and moving New York City during the COVID-19 pandemic and this is one of the many ways we are making sure they are safe,” said Patrick Warren, MTA Chief Safety Officer. “Our aggressive action to procure millions of pieces of personal protective equipment is part of our commitment to their health and well-being.”
The MTA has been an international leader among transportation agencies since the COVID-19 pandemic was first identified in New York at the beginning of March. Additionally, the MTA has distributed across agencies 45,000 gallons of hand sanitizer, including 134,000 small bottles, 4.2 million individual sanitizing wipes, 139,000 gallons of cleaning solution and 10,000 face shields.
MTA Metro-North Railroad announced on July 10 it reconfigured vending machines at 12 stations throughout the system to allow customers to purchase premium KN95 masks, bottled hand sanitizer and gloves at the machines. Free masks and hand sanitizer are still being distributed at stations and on trains for any rider that needs one.
This week, an additional PPE vending machine was installed at 149 Street – Grand Concourse in the Bronx. Customers who have lost or forgotten their mask can ask for one when they enter the subway system. The MTA has also installed contactless hand sanitizer dispenses across the system for customers to easily access.
The MTA continues with its innovative and aggressive 13 Point Action Plan for a Safe Return implemented on June 05, 2020 as more riders make their way back into the system. The plan includes increased service, mandatory face coverings, enhanced safety and security, innovative cleaning solutions and new partnerships and technology to make the system safer.
To further protect employees the MTA continues deploying its “Temperature Brigade” across agency locations consisting of medically trained personnel to check employee’s temperatures to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Customer safety remains a top priority at the MTA. This week the MTA announced that the OMNY contactless fare payment system has been activated at all subway stations in the Bronx. Now more than 60% of all subway stations are equipped with OMNY with 2,820 readers systemwide.
Daily cleaning and disinfecting continues across train cars and stations. All train cars are being cleaned and disinfected at least once a day and all stations at least twice daily. The overnight closure of the subway system from 01:00 a.m. to 05:00 a.m. started in May and remains in effect in an effort to further rigorously clean and disinfect the system.