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MBTA service levels have been increased in the interest of the health and safety of our riders and employees. All riders must use face coverings when on the MBTA. More: MBTA.com/coronavirus

Executive Order for Face Coverings Takes Effect Wednesday, May 6

Posted on May 5, 2020

Starting tomorrow, T customers are required to wear face coverings.


Effective tomorrow, Wednesday, May 6, MBTA customers must wear face coverings when using the MBTA. This requirement is pursuant to the Executive Order issued on May 1, which takes effect tomorrow. 

The Executive Order applies to any person over the age of 2 who is in a place open to the public, and expressly requires masks or face coverings when using public transportation or when in an enclosed or semi-enclosed transit stop or waiting area. The Department of Public Health notes that mask use by children 2 years of age and up to the age of 5 is encouraged but also at the discretion of the child’s parent or guardian, with full information available via the Department of Public Health.

The Executive Order includes an exemption for individuals with certain medical conditions, but does not require a person who is so exempt to produce documentation of their condition. The MBTA has issued internal guidance to its operators consistent with the Executive Order.

“I’d like to sincerely thank MBTA customers taking essential trips for doing the right thing and complying with the Executive Order by wearing face coverings within the T system,” said MBTA General Manager Steve Poftak. “Many T customers are already wearing face coverings while in stations and onboard vehicles. This new measure is one more important step in our continuing efforts to protect our workforce and our riders.” 

Enhanced Cleaning, Disinfecting, and More

The new Executive Order is in addition to other measures the T has already taken to protect the health and safety of its workforce and customers. These other measures include: 

  • Rear-door boarding on all MBTA buses and trolleys at street-level stops on the Green Line and Mattapan Line as well as the installation of removable barriers on vehicles in support of social distancing efforts to protect the health and safety of the MBTA’s workforce and customers. Anyone needing to use the front door, including seniors and people with disabilities, may continue to do so.
  • Disinfecting all fleet vehicles – buses, trolleys, subway cars, Commuter Rail coaches, and RIDE vehicles – every 24 hours, and protocols to clean and disinfect all high-contact surfaces on buses during mid-day layover periods.
  • Cleaning all high-contact surfaces such as handrails, fare gates, and fare vending machines in subway stations once every 4 hours.

MBTA riders and Massachusetts residents are encouraged to visit mass.gov/COVID19 for information on COVID-19 and mass.gov/KnowPlanPrepare for additional preparedness tips.

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