The new measure announced last week took effect on Monday morning. A transit agency spokesman could not say whether anyone was fined as of 3pm.
“It is clear that this is not about revenue, and we are not interested in issuing fines or summons,” MTA CEO Pat Foye said Monday during a news conference inside the Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center. Do not wear masks. “It’s about public health.”
Governor Andrew Cuomo has pushed for harsher penalties against bare-faced riders, in an effort to encourage more New Yorkers to return to public transit. According to transit officials, the rule will be enforced by both NYPD and MTA officers, as well as the Bridge and Tunnel State Police.
“In many cases,” riders will be offered a mask before receiving a fine. The agency’s volunteer-led “Mask Force” has given 3 million masks to metro and bus riders.
Since the onset of the epidemic, New Yorkers have consistently paid attention to the NYPD’s refusal to cover the face – during protests, conversations with suspects, and even packed indoor retirement ceremonies.
Speaking with NY1 on Monday, Police Commissioner Dermot Shea suggested that police who do not wear masks while controlling the transit system could impose fines on their own.
Xi said, “The same rules will apply. Officers are not immune.” “We have internal policies that we can discipline if they are warranted.”
The NYPD was previously removed from most social distance enforcement this past spring, after a video showed officers violently arresting a woman for not having a mask in front of her young child at Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Station.
Many transit advocates feared that reintroducing the role of police in mask enforcement would inevitably create racial inequality – something the city has seen in all other aspects of metro policing over the years.
When asked about this on Monday, Foe said he “did not accept the basis of the question.”
Danny Pearlstein of the Riders Alliance called the mistake a mistake, noting that masked compliance among transit riders was already very high – more than 90 percent on subways and buses, according to transit surveys.
“Instead of making transit safer,” he said, “this will increase tensions and increase negative interactions between police and riders.”