The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA, for its acronym in English) announced Wednesday that it will install dispensers of surgical masks on its buses so that all passengers can use them for free while they are on this type of public transport.

The MTA He noted that he has already installed 100 dispensers on six different routes in three of the five districts that form New Yorkk.

At the moment, the most benefited by this program will be the inhabitants of The Bronx, Staten Island y Queens, the areas covered by the initial six routes.

By the end of August, the MTA expects to have installed dispensers on more than 400 buses and 20 routes as part of this pilot program.

“This is another important way to find solutions to ensure that customers can obtain a mask conveniently if they have lost or forgotten theirs when they get on a bus,” the president of the Compañía de Autobuses de the MTA, Craig Cipriano.

“When you cover your face on public transport, you are doing it out of respect for the rest of the passengers and for the health and safety of the bus operators,” added Cipriano.

“And also, it’s the law,” said the spokesman, referring to the mandatory nature of face masks in New York’s public transportation system.

Each plastic dispenser, which will be attached to the handles of the bus, has a capacity for about 50 masks, and will be replaced daily.

The announcement of the mask program comes after the launch of “Operation Respect”, a new MTA initiative consisting of a “Mask Squad” made up of hundreds of volunteers who will distribute them directly to passengers on the subway, buses , and the railway network.

New York State has provided the MTA with one million face masks for distribution, in addition to the two million more that were donated by the state and by New York City a few months ago.