Keeping New Yorkers Healthy: Meet the Mask Force

Two days each month hundreds of volunteers put on bright yellow t-shirts (and masks!) and work together to distribute free masks where our customers need them most: on subways and buses.

Yes, the MTA is giving away free masks

We know masks are key to stopping the spread of the coronavirus. A mask or face covering is also required at all times while you travel with us. So, we want to make sure you always have access to one when you need it.

Enter: the Mask Force.

Over the summer the federal government and the State of New York supplied the MTA with millions of free masks. Since July, we’ve given out 320,000 masks. In October, we handed out over 100,000 masks.

Here's how Mask Force works

On two days out of each month, our volunteers meet up in subway stations, pick up boxes of masks, partner up with another volunteer to hand out masks to folks who need one or could use an extra. They'll hand out masks on trains, on buses, or inside stations. And they look good doing it, wearing bright yellow “Stop the Spread. Wear a Mask” t-shirts or buttons as a reminder to everyone that spots them to keep a mask on while riding.

Our volunteers include:

  • Hundreds of MTA staff
  • City agencies
  • State agencies
  • Elected officals
  • Advocates
  • Members of the public

We want you

Anyone over 18 years old is welcome to join the Mask Force. Shifts are about 2.5 hours long all across the city. If you'd like to join us the next time we head out, share your information here and we'll get back to you with information about how to register (tip: Select "Subways" or "Buses", then "Request", click "Continue", and then "Interest in joining Mask Force!").