MTA Press Releases

Press Release
October 19, 2020
MTA to Distribute Free Pink Masks to Customers and Employees in Recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month
MTA Will Hand Out 114,500 Pink Masks Throughout the Month of October
MTA Making 6 Million Masks Available to Customers

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) today announced it is distributing 114,500 free pink surgical masks to customers and employees in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The MTA is making six million free masks available to customers.

On Tuesday, Oct. 20, and Thursday, Oct. 22, the MTA’s Mask Force, comprised of volunteers from MTA leadership, employees, elected officials and advocacy groups, will travel throughout the MTA service region distributing free pink masks to customers. These masks will also be given to employees at New York City Transit subways and buses, Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad and MTA Bridges and Tunnels.

“These masks help reduce the spread of germs and viruses and raise awareness about breast cancer, a disease that affects so many New Yorkers every year,” said Patrick Warren, MTA Chief Safety Officer. “Wearing a mask is the law – and it’s also a sign of respect to your fellow riders and the employees who have heroically kept the city moving throughout the pandemic.”

“Komen NYC is pleased the MTA will bring safety and Breast Cancer Awareness to the forefront of New Yorkers minds this fall,” said Linda Tantawi CEO of Susan G. Komen Greater New York City. “These masks serve as pink protection, keeping our community safe, as well as a reminder that it is safe to return to your provider for routine visits and screenings.”

Mask compliance across the MTA network is very high, above 95%. The MTA has equipped 600 buses across 31 routes 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.

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. The MTA has made more than 9 million masks available to employees.