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Tuesday, February 7, 2023

MTA Requires All Travelers to Wear Face Coverings While Riding Public Transport

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has launched a new “Keep them Covered” public awareness campaign on the heels of New York State’s Executive Order requiring all New Yorkers to wear a face covering while riding public transportation. 

Face coverings protecting New Yorkers’ nose and mouth, including cloth bandanas, scarves, masks or other alternatives, were mandatory effective April 17 at 8 p.m. in order to ride public transportation.

The new campaign includes digital signage across more than 7,000 digital screens, audio announcements in stations and on trains, and more than 7,000 printed signs for buses and paratransit vehicles. The digital signage appears on more than 4,000 screens across the NYC Subway, 2,600 screens on buses, and 550 screens on the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad.  

In addition, audio announcements instruct customers – healthcare workers, first responders and other essential personnel – making their way throughout the system to wear a face covering as the MTA has observed the majority of its customers already doing.

“This executive order follows our efforts, leading the country, to keep our customers and employees safe during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Patrick Warren, MTA Chief Safety Officer. “Wearing the face covering is critical to protecting public health and could ultimately save lives.”

The MTA has been a national leader among transportation agencies in taking aggressive action to battle the COVID-19 pandemic since the early days of its arrival in New York. In order to protect employees, the MTA disregarded federal guidance and began handing out masks to all employees before the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) later issued new guidance recommending all Americans wear masks. The MTA has also strongly recommended all riders wear a face covering since March 2, in advance of the CDC issuing guidelines for all Americans to wear masks.

The MTA reminds customers that public transportation is to be used for essential travel only. All other New Yorkers should stay home.

Read more at MTA

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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