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MTA Mask Force Marks One Year and Reminds Customers That Masks are Still Required While Riding Public Transit

Updated June 17, 2021 9:30 p.m.
MTA Mask Force volunteers distribute free masks to subway customers

700K Free Masks Distributed Since Mask Force Began 


Masks Still Required Onboard Subways, Buses, Commuter Rails and Paratransit  


See Photos of Today’s Mask Force Event 


The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) held its 12th ‘Mask Force’ event today, with MTA leaders, local elected officials, staff, and volunteers distributing thousands of free masks throughout the Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad and NYC Transit subway system. Since its inception 12 months ago, approximately 1,050 New Yorkers have volunteered for the MTA Mask Force, handing out 700,000 masks. 

Under updated CDC guidance masks are no longer required on outdoor NYC Transit platforms, outdoor Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad and Staten Island Railway stations and platforms, and bus stops. Once a customer boards a train, bus or paratransit vehicle, masks are required. 

“It is very gratifying to see all the work the MTA’s Mask Force has done over the past year to protect their fellow New Yorkers,” said Patrick Warren, MTA Chief Safety Officer. “It continues to be encouraging to see members of our community getting vaccinated by the tens of thousands, and remembering that masks are still required while riding with us.” 

Mask Force volunteers and MTA staff today are at the following stations:    

Long Island Rail Road 

  • Atlantic Terminal 
  • Babylon 
  • Hicksville 
  • Jamaica 
  • Penn Station  

Metro-North Railroad 

  • Grand Central Terminal 
  • Mt Vernon West 
  • Poughkeepsie 
  • South Norwalk 

New York City Transit 

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

Employees and volunteers wear bright yellow t-shirts and vests identifying them as part of the team. 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 30 million masks to date. In addition to the over nine 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 21 million masks, 22.5 million pairs of gloves, 129,000 gallons of hand sanitizer, 271,000 7-oz and 2-oz bottles of hand sanitizer, 14.9 million individual sanitizing cleaning wipes, 302,000 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 violations.  

As a reminder, customers who are partially or fully vaccinated are still required to wear a mask while riding trains and buses.