MTA - Metropolitan Transportation Authority

10/25/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/25/2020 11:12

MTA Announces Almost 15 Million Masks Distributed to Employees and Customers As Part of Nation-Leading ‘Operation Respect’ Health and Safety Campaign

10 Million N95, KN95 and Surgical Masks Handed Out to Employees Since March; 4.5 Million Surgical Masks Handed Out to Customers

Includes 30,000 Pink Masks in Honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month

See Photos of Top MTA Officials Distributing Pink Masks Here

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority today announced it reached a significant milestone this week with nearly 15 million masks distributed to customers and employees across New York City Transit, MTA Bus Company, Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad, MTA Bridges and Tunnels, MTA Police Department and MTA Construction & Development since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March.

Since the onset of the pandemic, the personal protective equipment distributed to heroic MTA frontline employees includes 4.9 million N95 and KN95 masks, 4.8 million surgical masks and 600,000 cloth masks. Customers have been given 4.5 million free masks by the MTA.

On Tuesday, Oct. 20 and Thursday, Oct. 22, 250 members of the MTA's 'Mask Force,' comprised of MTA leadership, employees, elected officials and staff, community groups, city employees, transit advocacy groups and approximately 30 members of the general public traveled throughout the MTA service region handing out more than 100,000 masks, including 30,000 pink masks, to customers.

'The safety of our employees and customers continues to be a top priority, and the distribution of nearly 15 million masks is a perfect example of that,' said Patrick Warren, MTA Chief Safety Officer. 'The Mask Force has done an incredible job of making sure every person who enters our system can get a mask. Compliance among our riders is very high - but the goal is for every rider to wear a mask.'

'Despite the global demand for masks throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the MTA was able to source, procure and distribute more than 10 million masks to employees and nearly five million to customers over the last eight months,' said Kuvershen Ayer, MTA Chief Procurement Officer. 'Also at the onset of the pandemic, the MTA due to its strategic planning, utilized it`s established pandemic stock of masks and other PPE to keep our employees and riders safe.'

The elected officials who participated in this week's 'Mask Force' outreach are:

Representatives for elected officials, community boards and advocacy groups also participated, including:

  • Governor Andrew M. Cuomo
  • Senator Brad Hoylman
  • Assembly Member Daniel Rosenthal
  • Assembly Member Stacey Pheffer Amato
  • Assembly Member Nicole Malliotakis
  • Council Member Barry Grodenchik
  • Council Member Mark Gjonaj
  • Manhattan Community Board 10
  • Manhattan Community Board 5
  • New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
  • New York City Housing Authority
  • Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA
  • Riders Alliance (see photos)
  • Tri-State Transportation Campaign

Mask compliance across the MTA network is very high, above 95%. The MTA has equipped buses with mask dispensers, installed vending machines that sell personal protective equipment, and launched new capacity tracking app features to report in real-time how many passengers are on a bus or LIRR train car. Train cars and buses are disinfected at least daily, and stations are disinfected at least two times per day.

Customers who refuse to wear a mask on public transit are subject to a $50 fine.

Train cars and buses are disinfected at least daily, and stations are disinfected at least two times per day. Subway cars have been disinfected nearly 3.7 million times, buses nearly 700,000 times, LIRR cars nearly 190,000 times and Metro-North cars more than 120,000 times.