NEW YORK - The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is launching a pilot program to make sure bus riders rides have face coverings. 

Mask dispensers are being installed on buses on six routes. 

Riders who don't have a mask can grab one when they board.

The program is running on the Bx12 and Bx41 Select Bus Service routes in the Bronx, the express 63, 64, and 68 in Queens, and the S53 route on Staten Island.

"What we really have to learn from this pilot actually is that it's great to have a mask dispenser and masks on board buses, can we keep those mask dispensers stocked? We've got to learn to see that they're not taken off buses. There's a robust marketing communications campaign to our customers that please just take one, leave it for your fellow customers. So as we replenish these masks day in and day out we've got to see that we can keep them on board the bus," said  New York City Transit Vice President of Buses Craig Cipriano.

By the end of August, the MTA plans to have dispensers on 400 buses along more than 20 routes.

The MTA says on average, 96 percent of passengers wear masks, which is mandatory on public transit.