Coronavirus News: MTA launches campaign urging riders to wear masks

COVID-19 News and Information
NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- The New York City MTA is launching an all-out campaign to urge passengers to wear a mask.

The campaign is being dubbed 'Operation Respect'.

Hundreds of employees and volunteers will make up a mask force that will distribute free masks to riders.

"It is hard to imagine at this point that anyone doesn't have a mask," NYC Transit Interim President Sarah Feinberg said. "But if it falls out of your pocket on the way to the station, you leave it at home, you break the elastic band and you need a mask, we still have them at every booth in every station in the system and we also have them with our mask force volunteers handing them out on trains."

The campaign also includes bright yellow signs that reinforce proper mask usage and social distancing, including a public service announcement read by actress Rosie Perez.

Mask dispensers are being installed on some buses, and bridge and tunnel officers will do spot checks on buses to monitor compliance.

The MTA says a survey last week found at least 90% of subway and bus riders are complying with the mask rule.

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