You Could Be Fined $50 for Not Wearing a Mask in NYC's Travel Hubs

Illustration for article titled You Could Be Fined $50 for Not Wearing a Mask in NYC's Travel Hubs
Photo: Byron Smith (Getty Images)

Heads up for folks catching a train, plane, or bus in the New York or New Jersey area: Starting today, the Port Authority is implementing a $50 penalty for travelers caught without a face covering within their facilities.


While it still wants to put the “primary emphasis” on keeping mask-wearing voluntary for all riders, the agency noted in a memo put out last week that anyone caught failing to wear a mask or face covering “appropriately” could now be liable for a “recommended” $50 fine. The new mandate applies to all facilities under the Port Authority’s purview—that includes the LaGuardia, JFK, and Newark airports, PATH stations, and the agency’s namesake bus terminal in Midtown Manhattan, among others.

What’s a bit unclear is who, exactly, will enforce these fines. As Gothamist noted, the announcement from the Port Authority somewhat echos the MTA’s announcement back in September that it would issue its own $50 fines for those caught running maskless on the city’s subway systems. At the time, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo enlisted the help of NYPD officers to wrangle these riders, despite the fact that these same officers had been historically mask-averse. MTA Chairman Pat Foye later responded to these critiques by saying that cops, too, could be subject to these same fines.

While we don’t know how many fines have been issued under the MTA or the Port Authority’s mandates (yet), hopefully, this will be enough to encourage the currently unmasked masses in some of New York’s boroughs to reconsider covering up their face before they leave the house.

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Well, I have to personally agree with this. Too many people are “poo-pooing” Covid-19 and numbers are spiking everywhere again as they said it would. I think the only way to really gat a hold on this is to lock down nationwide as much of the UK and other countries are doing. Yes it sucks and hurts people and businesses financially because of locking down but I haven’t seen much in the way of a vaccine yet (not really much talk lately and I think they’re struggling with it) and people are minimalizing it bigtime. BUT....if they did this an say, mandated it and put a curfew etc. on things of course there’s going to be looting, rioting and protesting if they did this so it’s a big catch-22 unfortunately. What a mess....