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MTA Leadership and Volunteers Distribute Thousands of Free Masks as Part of Authority’s 11th “Mask Force” Event

Updated May 27, 2021 4:15 p.m.
Mask Force Volunteers at Atlantic Av-Barclays Center

MTA’s Mask Force has Distributed Approximately 660,000 Free Masks Since its Inception  


Masks Remain Required in the Transit System and Must be Worn Even if Fully Vaccinated  


See Photos of Today’s Mask Force Event   


The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) held its 11th ‘Mask Force’ event today, with MTA leaders, local elected officials, staff, and volunteers distributing an estimated 55,000 free masks to riders. Mask usage throughout the system remains strong at 98%. Mask Force appreciates the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit New York City for its generous sponsorship of the team. The sponsorship provided Van Gogh-themed t-shirts and other merchandise and funding support for Mask Force volunteers.  

MTA Chief Customer Officer Sarah Meyer handed out masks at the Grand Central - 42 St subway station. At the Metro-North Croton-Harmon station, Metro-North Railroad President Catherine Rinaldi was joined  by Croton-on-Hudson Mayor Brian Pugh. Special guest and Metro-North mascot Metro-Man also handed out masks to customers at the Stamford station.   

“I am so proud to be part of the more than one thousand volunteers who have handed out masks to protect themselves and their fellow New Yorkers,” said Chief Customer Officer Meyer. “We’re all doing our part to get the city back on track. So mask up and #TaketheTrain and #TaketheBus!”  

“Metro-North employees are so excited to be welcoming our customers back, and today’s event is a reminder that everyone needs to wear a mask while on board and at our stations,” said President Rinaldi. “Our ridership is continuing to grow as the region reopens, and we are thrilled that Metro-North is helping to drive the region’s recovery.”     

Masks are available throughout the MTA system through the 'Mask Force', ambassador programs, station booths, free mask dispensers on buses, and PPE vending machines.  

Mask Force volunteers and MTA staff were at the following stations:   

Metro-North Railroad   

  • Mount Vernon East   
  • Stamford   
  • Croton-Harmon    
  • Grand Central Terminal   

Long Island Rail Road   

  • Ronkonkoma   
  • Huntington   
  • Rockville Centre   
  • Penn Station   
  • Atlantic Terminal 
  • Jamaica    

New York City Transit   

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

More than 1,000 New Yorkers have volunteered for the MTA Mask Force since inception. The program focuses primarily on ten 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 660,000 masks since July 2020. 

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

The MTA has acquired for distribution to employees and customers nearly 29 million masks to date. In addition to the over eight million masks available for customers, the Authority has also made available 750,000 2-oz bottles of hand sanitizer. Additionally, the Authority has distributed to its workforce more than 20 million masks, 21.4 million pairs of gloves, 126,000 gallons of hand sanitizer, 267,000 7-oz and 2-oz bottles of hand sanitizer, 14.4 million individual sanitizing cleaning wipes, 294,000 gallons of cleaning solution and 19,000 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. As a reminder, customers who are partially or fully vaccinated are still required to wear a mask while in the transit system.