New York City Public Transit Riders Who Don’t Mask Up Will Face Fines Starting Monday

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New York City public transit passengers who refuse to wear masks will be fined $50 starting Sept. 14.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

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Spencer Platt/Getty Images

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Still, Cuomo acknowledged, residents and commuters may feel more comfortable getting around in private vehicles where they can practice social distancing.

On Thursday, he expressed concerns about the city’s ability to handle an influx in vehicular traffic coming into New York City, a typical post-Labor Day phenomenon that will likely be exacerbated by the pandemic.

Cuomo encouraged people to return to the city’s buses and trains, and said the new penalty is designed to reassure nervous would-be riders that it is safe to do so.

«I have asked the MTA to come up with an enforcement regimen so people know that not only are the cars clean and the stations clean, but the riders will be acting appropriately,» Cuomo said. «We have to be able to say to the riding public that everyone will be wearing masks — and if they refuse to wear a mask they will be penalized.»

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Transportation Workers Union Local 100, which has been advocating for stronger mask enforcement for months, celebrated Thursday’s announcement as good news for public transit riders and workers.

The union cited a survey it conducted in July that found that on some bus routes, only 60% of riders were wearing masks, putting the people around them at risk.

«We recognize that a fine could be hardship for some,» Local 100 President Tony Utano said in a statement. «You know what’s harder? Going to a funeral because someone didn’t wear a mask on a bus or train.»

  • face coverings
  • public transit
  • MTA
  • New York City

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