MTA hosts ‘Mask Force’ event to promote COVID-19 safety
Following the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s 17th ‘Mask Force’ event, face covering usage on subways has increased to 95 per cent, as usage across all transit agencies remains above 90 per cent.
Credit: Metropolitan Transportation Authority
On 25 January 2022, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) held its 17th ‘Mask Force’ event, with MTA leaders and volunteers distributing thousands of free face coverings throughout the transit system. Face coverings are still required onboard trains, buses, paratransit vehicles and at indoor stations, regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status.
Since the last ‘Mask Force’ event in December 2021, face covering usage on MTA’s subways has increased by over 90 per cent again, with the latest survey measuring current mask usage at 95 per cent. Face covering usage across all agencies remains above 90 per cent.
“I am beyond thankful for the hundreds of MTA employees and supporters who have volunteered since we started holding these events in July 2020,” said Sarah Meyer, Chief Customer Officer at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. “Customers are listening to our message; mask compliance on the subway is above 90 per cent, as is compliance across the MTA. There continues to be free masks available at subway station booths and on commuter railroad trains for anyone who needs one.”
MTA first launched its ‘Mask Force’ in July 2020, in order to supplement its existing distribution of face coverings in the transit system and acknowledge customers who are already compliant. Since its inception, more than 1,340 New Yorkers have participated in the MTA ‘Mask Force’, handing out approximately 900,000 face coverings. MTA has acquired 45.9 million face coverings to date for distribution to employees and customers.
In addition to the 14.5 million face coverings available for customers, the authority has also made available 750,000 2oz bottles of hand sanitiser. MTA has also distributed 31.4 million face coverings, 33.5 million pairs of gloves, 156,000 gallons of hand sanitiser, 317,000 bottles of hand sanitiser, 18.7 million individual sanitising cleaning wipes, 407,000 gallons of cleaning solution and 24,000 face shields to its workforce.
Under updated Transportation Security Administration guidance, face coverings are required on all forms of public transportation through to at least 18 March 2022, regardless of vaccination status.