The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced that as of September 16th all customers who refuse to wear a mask on public transit will be subject to a $50 fine. The new measure follows Governor Cuomo’s executive order directing the MTA to develop a plan to bolster mask compliance across public transit. MTA officials reiterated that the rule is to ensure that customers are adhering to the best possible public health practices and to further improve upon current rates of mask usage, which are already above 90 percent across New York City Transit subways and buses, the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North.
The MTA’s Mask Force, comprised of hundreds of MTA employees, elected officials and advocacy groups, also kicked off additional outreach efforts and has made four million free masks provided by the State and City available to customers to-date. Additionally, the MTA launched a new State of Respect campaign to remind New Yorkers to wear masks on public transit as a sign of respect towards their fellow New Yorkers and to stop the spread of COVID-19. The art, which will be on display on more than 8,000 digital screens throughout the transit system and on a billboard in Ridgewood, Queens, features a diverse group of New Yorkers wearing a New York State-shaped mask. View the new campaign here.