MTA to slap $50 fine on any commuter not wearing a mask
Starting today, if you don't mask up, you'll have to pay up as MTA police will be on the lookout for commuters who are not wearing their masks.
Wearing masks on buses, subways, trains and indoor stations - even if you're vaccinated - has already been the rule for months. And now, officials at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority say the warning period is over.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced Wednesday that it is ramping up mask enforcement throughout the transit system.
Officials say riders failing to comply will be more likely to face the $50 fine implemented in 2020.
MTA police will be stationed at subway hubs and bus terminals to enforce the rule. Plus, the MTA will be partnering with the NYPD to increase subway and bus enforcement.
Free masks are available at all MTA stations, on commuter trains and on most buses. "In a post COVID transit system, wearing a mask is the ultimate sign of respect. It shows your commitment to not only protecting your own health, but that of our fellow riders and our other workers. Aside from that, it is required by state law," says Joseph McGrann, chief of MTA Police Department.
MTA officials say the goal of heightened enforcement is to increase mask usage across all agencies, and to return to 2020 and early 2021 compliance levels where nearly 100% of riders wore masks. "When as a community, we achieve 100% mask compliance, we are protecting ourselves and demonstrating our concern and respect for the health of one another, this is especially important as more and more customers return to the system," adds MTA Chief Safety Officer Pat Warren.
Most commuters who spoke with News 12 say refusing to wear a mask isn't worth the trouble and the fine, plus they don't mind wearing the mask. "I have no problem wearing a mask, it's a very simple process so I think we should all follow it." says Rafael Bandeirinha, of Bedford Hills. "Hopefully these precautions will allow us to take these off eventually and go back to life as we know it," says Maria Malizia, of the Bronx.