MARTA has announced it will distribute up to 2 million free masks to help combat the spread of COVID-19 beginning Monday, July 6.
The transit agency will deploy staff and volunteers to hand out the disposable masks at its rail stations and bus bays. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to recommend masks be worn to reduce the spread of coronavirus.
“Since the onset of the pandemic, we have instituted safety precautions and new cleaning protocols in order to continue providing essential transit service while protecting our customers and employees,” said MARTA General Manager and CEO Jeffrey Parker in a press statement. “We are now asking our customers to join us in helping to stop the spread of this virus by wearing a mask while on MARTA. We appreciate those riders who are wearing masks and understand you may not have access to masks or there may be a day you forget yours. We want you to know we’ve got you covered and to please take and wear a mask before boarding a bus or train.”
MARTA’s mask giveaway for customers will kick off between 7 a.m. and 11 a.m. on weekdays. It will be expanded to weeknights and weekends, based on ridership demand. The program is expected to continue until further notice or public health recommendations change.
Customers needing a mask should look for a uniformed MARTA station agent or Transit Ambassador wearing a red “Team MARTA” shirt. To ensure everyone’s safety, each customer will select an individual mask from a tissue-like dispenser. Volunteers from transit advocacy groups including the MARTA Army and the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition are also planning to participate.
MARTA is working to prevent the spread of the virus by requiring all employees, contractors and visitors to wear masks while on MARTA property or in a MARTA vehicle, and by using state-of-the-art cleaning technology to thoroughly disinfect all buses, trains, and facilities including electrostatic sprayers.