CoronavirusTravel

MTA is Issuing $50 Fines to Non-Mask Wearers

(NYC Trend) Governor Cuomo is cracking down on MTA riders who violate mask-wearing regulations by issuing a $50 fine. Starting September 14th, riders now have the option of putting on a mask or facing a charge. It has been mandatory to wear a mask on public transportation since April 17th, but the Governor believes that the hefty ticket will disrupt the spread of Covid-19 and boost cooperation.

“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,” Governor Cuomo stated.

The MTA is on a mission to convince commuters that it is safe to ride the subway again, but the new tactic could also drive passengers away instead. MTA officials do not distribute the fines; that part is handled by the NYPD. During the peak of the pandemic, officers shoved Kaleemah Rozier, a 22-year-old mother, to the ground and forcefully arrested her for not wearing a mask. However, multiple bystanders claimed that she was wearing one. Several videos have also surfaced online of police officers using their authority, under the pretense of enforcing coronavirus laws, to profile and assault civilians. With these instances occurring pre-fines, it has left many commuters feeling unsettled and less secure.

The majority of transit riders comply with the no-mask rules, mostly out of courtesy to others and adherence to the CDC. Ninety percent of MTA commuters wear masks on the subway, and ninety-six percent of them on the bus. Pat Foye, the chairman and CEO of the MTA, is aiming for an even greater surge of masks wearers in the months to come. On the first day of the order, Foye was even seen standing next to subway turnstiles and personally handing out masks. Though Foye’s sudden involvement seems heartening, will it ease the fears and apprehensions of commuters across the Tri-state?

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