Face masks or coverings will be mandatory for customers on MTA subways, buses and other forms of mass transit as of Friday, according to the agency.
The agency said Wednesday that it is part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive order requiring face coverings in busy places during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Pursuant to the Governor’s Executive Order, all customers will be required to wear a face covering while traveling with us during this pandemic, effective Friday April 17,” MTA Chairman Pat Foye said in a statement.
“Wearing masks and other face coverings in public will help stop the spread and ultimately save lives.”
Foye’s comments echoed Cuomo’s from earlier in the day that “if you’re going to get on public transit, you’re going to get on a bus, you’re going to get on a subway, you’re going to stand on a subway platform… you must wear a mask or cloth or an attractive bandanna or a color-coordinated bandanna cloth.”
The MTA has been mired by reports of dangerously-crowded subways and buses after officials slashed service to cope with thousands of workers calling out sick due to the coronavirus.
At least 59 transit workers have died from COVID-19, and Foye himself tested positive for the virus. The MTA only began giving its own workers masks in late March.
The toll has raised alarm among front-line workers concerned about crowds and the large numbers of homeless riding and living on trains.
“The riders are pissed, especially the last two weeks,” one train operator told The Post. “I’ve never seen them like that. They’re outright yelling.”
“You have people yelling at us, [that] they paid their fare and shouldn’t be subjected to that. And we agree, but there’s nothing we can do.”