Here’s a look at the US cities keepings and dropping public transit mask mandates
These decisions follow a federal judge striking down the public transportation mask mandate
(CNN) — Across the US, local transit authorities are deciding whether they will continue requiring passengers to mask up after a federal judge struck down the public transportation mask mandate aimed at mitigating Covid-19 risk.
Their decisions are mixed, as some transit officials say they will let riders choose whether to mask, while others say they will keep their masking policies in place.
The mandate, enacted in February 2021 by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, required people on public transit and at transportation hubs like airports to wear masks regardless of their vaccination status.
But following the Florida judge’s decision on Monday, the order is no longer in effect while the ruling is being reviewed, a Biden administration official said.
From New York to Atlanta to San Francisco and Seattle, here’s how some city transit systems are handling their mask requirements:
The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, or MARTA, will stop enforcing its mask mandate, a spokesperson told CNN.
“If customers and employees want to continue wearing masks while on the transit system, they are free to … but masks are not required at this time,” MARTA spokesperson Stephany Fisher said.
Riders of the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority, or CapMetro, are no longer required to wear masks, spokesperson Tawaun Cole told CNN, adding the CDC “is still encouraging customers to mask up to protect themselves while using public transportation.”
Masks are still required on Chicago Transit Authority trains and buses, a CTA spokesperson told CNN on Monday.
Statewide New Jersey Transit won’t require masks anymore on its buses and trains, it said Tuesday morning, reversing its initial decision to continue to require them.
“The federal (Transportation Security Administration) announced that it will no longer enforce a mask mandate in public transportation settings. Masks will no longer be required on NJ TRANSIT and by South Jersey Transportation Authority,” the agency said.
The Metropolitan Transportation Agency, or MTA, will keep its mask requirement in place in accordance with the determination made in March by the New York State Department of Health, the agency said in a statement.
Masks are “recommended but no longer required” on Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, or SEPTA, vehicles and at stations and concourses, the agency tweeted Monday night.
Passengers of TriMet must still wear masks for now, the agency tweeted Monday afternoon, pointing to the TSA directive extending mask public transit mask requirements through May 3. The TSA announced Monday night it would not enforce the directive in light of the court decision.
The King County Metro Transit Department is keeping its mask mandate in place, the transit agency said Monday in a release.
“While a federal judge in Florida ruled against the transit mask mandate, there may be an appeal from the Justice Department that could lead to a delay in implementation, or for the decision to be altered or overruled,” the release said. “In the meantime, Metro’s mask mandate remains in effect.”
Riders and employees of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, dubbed Metro, will no longer be required to mask up, the agency said in a statement. This includes its Metrorail, Metrobus and MetroAccess services.
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