7 Investigates: Mask enforcement on MBTA transportation

(WHDH) — Every weekday, Pam takes the subway and commuter rail to and from work.

She says she always wears a mask.

“I have had COVID, and it wasn’t a good experience. I was very sick. I’m trying to prevent others from getting it,” says Pam.

But Pam says others don’t always extend the same courtesy.

“People are on the phone, with no mask on and you ask them to put a mask on, ‘I’m on the phone,’ or they say, ‘I’m eating,'” says Pam.

All MBTA passengers are required to wear masks, but our cameras found that’s not happening.

On the Redline from Kendall/MIT, one man never put his mask on.

Once at South Station, within 5 minutes, we snapped pictures of three men without masks.

On several different days, we caught:

A maskless man getting on the train.

Two men with their masks pulled down, sitting next to each other.

Others waiting for the subway without masks, and another man without his mask pulled up, as this announcement is made.

The MBTA said transit police would issue $300 fines for not wearing a mask.

But even though they’ve received 432 complaints concerning passengers not covering their faces, not one person has been issued a warning or fine.

A spokesperson for the MBTA says the agency “views compliance with face coverings to be less of a law enforcement matter and more of a public education matter,” and when officers find areas where mask compliance needs to be improved, “the MBTA steps up education efforts and provides face coverings (as available).”

The spokesperson says the MBTA has taken disciplinary action against 190 employees for not wearing masks.

Pam wishes the *T* would take more action.

“What do I hope they do? Enforce the mask wearing,” says Pam. “Put your mask on please. That’s all you have to ask.”

An MBTA spokesperson says if you are asked to wear a mask and refuse, they will deny you service.

If you see someone not wearing a mask, you are encouraged to find a transit officer to report that person.

(Copyright (c) 2021 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)