A volunteer hands out a mask in one of the underground tunnels between platforms at the Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center transit complex in downtown Brooklyn. MTA photo by Marc Hermann
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) held its 17th annual “Mask Force” event on Tuesday with MTA leaders and volunteers handing out thousands of free masks throughout the transit system.
Mask Force volunteers, MTA staff and elected officials were at the Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center subway-railroad complex, Brooklyn’s busiest station, serving nine subway lines and the Long Island Rail Road, on Tuesday. . Another team went to the Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue terminal, the last stop of four subway lines in south Brooklyn.
In the other boroughs, the leaders and volunteers of Mask Force were at 74and Street-Avenue Roosevelt in Jackson Heights, East 180and Street in the Bronx, Grand Central Terminal, Times Square-42n/a Street, 68and Street in Upper Manhattan and the St. George Terminal of the Staten Island Railroad.
Masks are still mandatory on trains, buses, paratransit vehicles and in indoor stations, regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status.
Since the last Mask Force event in December, mask usage on the subway has again increased by more than 90%, with the latest survey measuring current mask usage at 95%. Mask usage across all branches remains above 90%.
“I am beyond grateful to the hundreds of MTA employees and supporters who have volunteered since we began hosting these events in July 2020,” said Sarah Meyer, MTA Chief Customer Officer. “Customers listen to our message; Subway mask compliance is over 90%, as is compliance across the MTA. There are always free masks available in metro station cabins and on commuter trains for anyone who needs them. »
Since its inception, more than 1,340 New Yorkers have participated in the MTA Mask Force, distributing approximately 900,000 masks. Employees and volunteers wear bright yellow t-shirts and vests identifying them as part of the Mask Force team.
The MTA has acquired for distribution to employees and customers 45.9 million masks to date. In addition to the 14.5 million masks available to customers, the Authority has also made available 750,000 2oz bottles of hand sanitizer. Additionally, the Authority distributed 31.4 million masks, 33.5 million pairs of gloves, 156,000 gallons of hand sanitizer, 317,000 7oz and 2oz bottles of hand sanitizer to its staff. , 18.7 million individual disinfectant cleaning wipes, 407,000 gallons of cleaning solution and 24,000 face shields.
The MTA first launched its Mask Force in July 2020 to supplement its existing distribution of masks in the transit system and to recognize customers who are already compliant. Wearing a face covering on public transit in New York City was required by law under Executive Order 202.18. A fine of $50 was imposed on September 14, 2020 for violation.