UPDATED 7:50 AM PT – Friday, September 11, 2020
Subway and bus riders in New York could now face a fine if they are seen not wearing a mask.
On Thursday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced the New York Police Department (NYPD) and Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) can begin issuing $50 fines to riders who refuse to comply starting Monday, September 14.
Enforcement officers will issue a fine as a last resort: they’ll first offer you a free mask, and if you refuse you could be issued a fine.
Wearing a mask is the law, and it’s the right thing to do.
— MTA. Wear a Mask. Stop the Spread. (@MTA) September 10, 2020
According to a survey by the MTA, 15-percent of passengers in August were improperly wearing their face coverings or not wearing any at all. The enforcement plan comes as a way to ensure riders feel safe.
“I’ve asked the MTA to come up with an enforcement regiment so people know that not only the cars clean and the stations clean, but the riders will be acting appropriately,” Cuomo stated.
Masks are required on all @MTA subways & buses.
No rider has the right to endanger fellow riders by putting themselves above the law & refusing to wear a mask.
The vast majority of people are complying & I thank them.
For the handful who refuse, there will be a new $50 fine.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) September 10, 2020
MTA officials reiterated the fines are meant to target the small population of passengers who refuse to wear a mask.