“Mask up or pay up” – that’s the message from the MTA for people using mass transit.
In a news conference Wednesday morning, the MTA announced that commuters must wear a mask at all public transportation stations and lines. Those who don’t could face a $50 fine.
This requirement has been in effect since Sept. 14, 2020. Now, MTA officers will be out stepping up the enforcement and making sure people are complying with the rule, stating that it is a federal requirement on trains, buses and paratransit vehicles.
Up until this point, they say most people have complied and that extensive enforcement hasn’t been necessary. In fact, officials say MTA police officers have had more than 88,000 positive encounters with commuters.
In preparation for ramped up enforcement, MTA workers have been handing out masks to riders for the past two weeks. If you do see someone using public transportation and not wearing a mask, MTA police say do not confront them.
“Riders should not get into confrontations with other riders” says Patrick Warren, MTA chief safety and security officer. “That’s something for the police and other security forces to do.”
Instead, it is recommended to report it online or to an NYPD officer or booth clerk. Free masks will be available at subway station booths and on board commuter railroad trains.
Read More: MTA to beef up enforcement of mask-wearing on public transportation