The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today launched a new “Welcome Back” public service announcement campaign, playing across 22 radio stations reminding customers they must wear a face covering such as a mask, cloth bandana, scarf, or other alternative when riding public transportation. The new public service announcements will play across the five boroughs, and in the Metro-North Railroad and Long Island Rail Road service regions in both English and Spanish for the next seven days.
The announcements come as ridership is gradually increasing across New York City Transit, Metro-North Railroad and Long Island Rail Road during the State’s Phase 1 reopening. The MTA continues the most aggressive and innovative deep cleaning and disinfecting program in agency history. The subway has returned to regular weekday service (except for the continuing closure of the system between 01:00 a.m. and 05:00 a.m.), and buses have returned to regular weekday/closed school service in Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island with 75 percent of regular service in Manhattan. LIRR is running 90% of normal weekday service and Metro-North is running 61% of normal weekday service with a 115% increase in capacity during peak hour service.
The MTA has seen mask compliance increase during New York City’s Phase 1 reopening – rising to 95% on June 15, 2020 from 92% on June 04, 2020.
Audio recordings and transcripts of the PSAs are available below.
“This is Sarah Feinberg, President of New York City Transit.
“Subways and buses have returned to full weekday service as New York reopens. If you enter a station or ride with us, you must wear a mask if medically able — no exceptions. We are working around the clock to constantly clean frequent touch points and closing the subways from 01:00 a.m. to 05:00 a.m.for deep disinfection. You can ride our free express and local buses during those times. Stay informed — use the MYmta app or visit mta.info. Thank you and be safe.” said in her address NYCT Interim President, Sarah Feinberg.
“This is Cathy Rinaldi, President of Metro-North Railroad, reminding you that we are increasing service as New York reopens. If you enter a station or ride with us, you must wear a mask — no exceptions. We are working around the clock to constantly clean frequent touch points — the most aggressive and innovative disinfecting program in Metro-North’s history. Stay informed — visit mta.info for details. Thank you and be safe.” said in her address Metro-North Railroad President, Catherine Rinaldi.
“This is Phil Eng, President of the Long Island Rail Road, reminding you that we are increasing service as New York reopens. If you enter a station or ride with us, you must wear a mask — no exceptions. We are working around the clock to constantly clean frequent touch points — the most aggressive and innovative disinfecting program in LIRR history. Stay informed — visit mta.info for details. Thank you and be safe.” said in his address Long Island Rail Road President, Phil Eng.
As an international leader among transportation agencies, early on in the COVID-19 pandemic, the MTA disregarded federal guidelines and encouraged all employees and customers to wear a mask. The MTA later mandated all employees and customers wear a mask while on public transportation, in advance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) later issuing guidelines for everyone to wear a mask.
Since the beginning of the pandemic the MTA has distributed 3.4 million masks, 5.7 million pairs of gloves, 3.3 million sanitizing wipes, 36,000 gallons of hand sanitizer, 121,000 hand sanitizer bottles, 120,000 gallons of cleaning solution and 8,000 face shields to its frontline heroic employees. Additionally, the MTA so far has distributed 1.4 million masks provided by the State and City to its customers who may have forgotten or lost their face covering. To date it has also distributed 700,000 mini-bottles of NYS Clean Hand Sanitizer to customers.
Below is a list of the radio stations where the PSA will run.