New York. MTA announces $50 fine for refusal to wear a mask on public transit

| 14 Sep 2020 | 03:53

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced Sept. 14 that all customers who refuse to wear a mask on public transit will be subject to a $50 fine.

The new measure follows Governor Cuomo’s executive order directing the MTA to develop a plan to bolster mask compliance across public transit. MTA officials reiterated that the rule is to ensure that customers are adhering to the best possible public health practices and to further improve upon current rates of mask usage, which are already above 90 percent across New York City Transit subways and buses, the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North.

“The goal is to achieve universal mask compliance,” said Patrick J. Foye, MTA Chairman and CEO. “This is about saving lives not generating revenue, and we’ll work with a range of law enforcement personnel to make sure riders are given every possible opportunity to wear a mask. This is about encouraging safety, not punishment.”

The MTA has filed an emergency rule with the New York Secretary of State allowing a $50 fine for refusal to wear a mask on public transit. A 60-day comment period is in effect, after which the MTA Board will consider the public comments and adopt a final rule. The new rule follows Governor Cuomo’s most recent directive and the nation-leading executive order issued on April 17 requiring all customers and employees to wear a face covering while in the public transit system.