The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) “Mask Force” has distributed 180,000 free masks to riders since Monday when a $50 fine was implemented for failure to wear a mask on public transit. The MTA has made four million masks available since the start of the pandemic.
MTA officials reiterated that the objective of the fine is not to collect money or issue summonses, but rather to encourage mask usage. Free masks are available at station booths and from MTA staff and police officers as well as bus dispensers throughout the city. MTA and Bridge and Tunnel Officers have handed out 698 masks to customers who were not wearing them, and have gotten 699 additional riders to properly adjust their masks.
Top MTA officials including MTA Chairman and CEO Patrick J. Foye, MTA Chief Transformation Officer Anthony McCord, Long Island Rail Road President Phil Eng and elected officials joined the Mask Force in Queens on Monday to encourage mask wearing. Since Monday, 630 volunteers have participated in the Mask Force.
Volunteers were in the system today distributing free masks to customers. The Mask Force has been at the following stations this week:
Bronx: 149th Street – Grand Concourse
Manhattan/Bronx: 145th Street
Manhattan/Bronx: 125th Street
Manhattan: Times Square – 42nd Street
Brooklyn: Atlantic Avenue – Barclays Center
Brooklyn: Broadway Junction
Queens: 74th Streer – Roosevelt Avenue – Jackson Heights
Queens: Jamaica – Sutphin/Archer
Staten Island: St. George SIR
Photo Credit: Marc A. Hermann / MTA New York City Transit