MARTA giving face masks to riders to prevent COVID-19 spread

MARTA is giving away up to 2 million disposable face masks. (Alex Tai/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

MARTA will be giving away millions of free masks to riders to fight COVID-19 starting next week.

Officials with the Atlanta public transportation system said that staff and volunteers will be handing out as many as 2 million disposable masks at rail stations and bus bays starting on Monday, July 6.

The mask giveaway will be for any customers and will happen from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. on weekdays. Depending on demand, MARTA officials say the program could expand to weeknights and weekends as well.

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While MARTA has asked all customers to wear masks, the transit authority is not requiring customers to do so.

“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,” MARTA General Manager and CEO Jeffrey Parker said in a 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.”

MORE: MARTA using high-tech sprayers to quickly disinfect public transportation

To receive a mask, customers should look for uniformed station agents of Transit Ambassadors who will be wearing a red "Team MARTA" shirt. Volunteers from groups like MARTA Army and the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition are also expected to participate in the giveaway.


MARTA had previously announced that they have received 50 state-of-the-art electrostatic sprayers that would be used in buses, trains, and rail stations to quickly disinfect areas of high use.

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