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'Mask Force' Out in Five Boroughs as MTA Reaches 25 Million Mark in Supply

Updated March 18, 2021 1:45 p.m.

150 Volunteers in the Field Today as MTA Supply of Masks for Customers and Employees Reaches Major Milestone 

View Photos of Today's Mask Force   


The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) held its 14th “Mask Force” volunteer day today as mask usage throughout the system has exceeded 98% and the MTA’s supply of masks for customers and employees surpasses the 25 million mark. Free masks are available through various means including Mask Force, ambassador programs, free availability at stations, free mask dispensers on buses, and PPE vending machines across the MTA network. 

The volunteer distribution happens today as more New Yorkers get vaccinated and daily subway ridership steadily increases and approaches the two million mark. 

“As more New Yorkers return to the system, the MTA Mask Force is there for them with plenty of free masks to keep everyone safe,” said MTA Chief Customer Officer Sarah Meyer. “We’re grateful to our volunteers and anyone who wants to be a part of this great way to help their fellow New Yorkers is encouraged to join.” 

Approximately 150 volunteers are handing out an expected 50,000 masks to customers today at the following locations:

•    74 St-Roosevelt Av-Jackson Hts
•    145 St-St. Nicholas Av
•    149 St-Grand Concourse 
•    Atlantic Av-Barclays Ctr 
•    Broadway Junction-ENY 
•    Coney Island–Stillwell Av 
•    Grand Central–42 St 
•    St. George 
•    Times Square-42 St 

More than 920 people have volunteered for the MTA Mask Force since its inception. The volunteers include top MTA officials and other employees, elected officials and their staffs, advocates, community board members, and members of the riding public. The program focuses primarily on almost a dozen subway stations for maximum line coverage and the busiest bus hubs with broad coverage across New York City. Employees and volunteers wear bright yellow t-shirts and vests identifying them as part of the team. The Mask Force has distributed more than 550,000 masks since July 2020.

To sign up to volunteer for the MTA Mask Force, visit https://new.mta.info/maskforce.

Across agencies to date, the MTA has acquired for distribution to customers 7.8 million masks and 750,000 2-oz bottles of hand sanitizer. Additionally, the Authority has distributed to its workforce 17.4 million masks, 19.1 million pairs of gloves, 117,000 gallons of hand sanitizer, 253,000 7-oz and 2-oz bottles of hand sanitizer, 13 million individual sanitizing cleaning wipes, 261,000 gallons of cleaning solution, and 18,000 face shields.

The MTA first launched its Mask Force in July 2020 in order to supplement its existing distribution of masks in the transit system and acknowledge customers who are already compliant. Wearing a face covering on public transportation in New York was required by law under Executive Order 202.18 issued by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo effective April 17, 2020. A $50 fine was implemented on Sept. 14, 2020 for customers who refuse to wear a mask on public transportation.