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MTA ‘Mask Force’ promotion comes to Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center, Coney Island

January 25, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) held its 17th “Mask Force” event on Tuesday with MTA leaders and volunteers distributing thousands of free masks throughout the transit system. 

Mask Force volunteers, MTA staff and elected officials on Tuesday were at the Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center subway-railroad complex, the busiest station in Brooklyn, serving nine subway lines and the Long Island Rail Road. Another team went to the Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue terminal, the last stop for four subway routes in Southern Brooklyn. 

In other boroughs, Mask Force leaders and volunteers were at 74th Street-Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights, East 180th Street in the Bronx, Grand Central Terminal, Times Square-42nd Street, 68th Street in Upper Manhattan, and the St. George terminal of the Staten Island Railway. 

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Masks are still required on board trains, buses, paratransit vehicles, and at indoor stations regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status. 

Since the last Mask Force event in December, mask usage on the subways has increased above 90 percent again, with the latest survey measuring current mask usage at 95 percent. Mask usage across all agencies remains above 90 percent. 

As the 3 train pulls out of the station at the Atlantic Avenue platform, a volunteer gives out a mask. MTA photo by Marc Hermann

“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, MTA chief customer officer. “Customers are listening to our message; mask compliance on the subway is above 90 percent, 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.” 

Since its inception, more than 1,340 New Yorkers have participated in the MTA Mask Force, handing out about 900,000 masks. Employees and volunteers wear bright yellow T-shirts and vests identifying them as part of the Mask Force team. 

MTA Chief Customer Officer Sarah Meyer. Photo courtesy of MTA

The MTA has acquired for distribution to employees and customers 45.9 million masks to date. In addition to the 14.5 million masks available for customers, the Authority has also made available 750,000 2-oz bottles of hand sanitizer. Additionally, the Authority has distributed to its workforce 31.4 million masks, 33.5 million pairs of gloves, 156,000 gallons of hand sanitizer, 317,000 7-oz and 2-oz bottles of hand sanitizer, 18.7 million individual sanitizing cleaning wipes, 407,000 gallons of cleaning solution and 24,000 face shields.     

The MTA first launched its Mask Force in July 2020 in order to supplement its existing distribution of masks in the transit system and acknowledge customers who are already compliant. Wearing a face covering on public transportation in New York was required by law under Executive Order 202.18. A $50 fine was implemented on Sept. 14, 2020, for violations.       

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