The MTA is calling in reinforcements to get New Yorkers to mask-up when they ride trains and buses.
A new voice ad starring Brooklyn-born star Rosie Perez urges riders to “show respect” and wear masks on trains, buses and station platforms, transit officials said Monday.
“What’s up, New York? When you’re riding a train or bus, wear a mask. Show your fellow riders respect. And, it’s the law,” Perez says in separate spots in English and Spanish in her iconic New York accent.
The actress concludes the ads with a reference to “Do The Right Thing,” the 1989 Spike Lee film that made her famous, set in blistering hot summer Brooklyn:
“Do the right thing. It’s up to us, New York,” she says.
The ads, which will play on MTA trains and buses, debut as MTA stats show mask-resistant riders fueling a spike in attacks on transit workers.
MTA coronavirus rules require all riders and employees wear masks at all times.
On Monday, transit officials announced the deployment of 160 officers from the MTA’s bridges and tunnels division to enforce mask compliance on local buses.
The agency also plans to test disposable mask dispensers on some bus routes, starting in the Bronx, officials said.
Union leaders charge that as many as 35 to 40 percent of bus riders are not wearing masks on some routes, but the MTA’s own surveys show compliance is between 95 and 98 percent.
“We need 100 percent compliance,” MTA bus chief Craig Cipriano said at a press conference Monday morning.
“If a bus operator asks you to put on a mask, he or she is doing it out of respect for us all. So please, do the right thing.”
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