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Cities are keeping or removing public transit mask mandates

Their decisions are mixed, as some transit officials say they will let passengers choose to mask up, while others say they will keep their masking policies in place.

The mandate, signed into law in February 2021 by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, required people on public transit and in 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But following the Florida judge’s decision on Monday, the order is no longer in effect while the ruling is under review, a Biden administration official said.

From New York to Atlanta to San Francisco to 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 on the transit system, they are free to … but masks are not required at this time,” MARTA spokeswoman Stephany Fisher said.

Austin, TX

Passengers of the Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority, or CapMetro, are no longer required to wear masks, spokesperson Tawaun Cole told CNN, adding that the CDC “always encourages customers to wear masks to protect themselves when traveling. use public transport.


Masks are not required on Chicago Transit Authority trains and buses after Illinois Governor JB Pritzker on Tuesday announced the end of the statewide mask mandate for public transportation . Runners who wish to wear a mask are “encouraged to do so,” the CTA said in a Tweeter.
On Metra, “masks will be welcome but not mandatory”, the rail service said on Twitter.

New Jersey

Statewide New Jersey Transit will no longer require masks on its buses and trains, it said Tuesday morning, reversing its original decision to continue requiring them.

“The federal government (Transportation Security Administration) has announced that it will no longer enforce mask mandates on public transit. Masks will no longer be required on NJ TRANSIT and by the South Jersey Transportation Authority,” the statement said. agency.

New Orleans

New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA) operators will “no longer enforce their mask mandate on buses, streetcars, ferries, paratransit vehicles, and in RTA facilities,” the RTA said in a statement on Tuesday.

It still recommends people wear masks in indoor transport environments, the statement said.

New York

The Metropolitan Transportation Agency, or MTA, will keep its mask requirement in place in accordance with the decision made in March by the New York State Department of Health, the agency said in a statement.

Orlando and Central Florida

Masks are now optional for passengers on Lynx buses in and around Orlando and at its facilities, a spokesperson told CNN on Tuesday.

philadelphia cream

Masks are “recommended but no longer required” on Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, or SEPTA, vehicles and in stations and concourses, the agency tweeted Monday night.

Portland, OR

TriMet passengers must still wear masks for now, the agency tweeted Monday afternoonhighlighting the TSA’s directive extending public transit mask requirements through May 3. The TSA announced Monday evening that it would not enforce the directive in light of the court’s decision.

Rhode Island

The state’s public transportation system, the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority, said its drivers and passengers are no longer required to wear a mask on board, but it encourages them to continue to do so.


The King County Metro Transit Department is keeping its mask mandate in place, the transit agency said in a statement Monday.

“While a federal judge in Florida has ruled against the transit mask mandate, there may be an appeal from the Justice Department that could result in a delay in implementation, or for the decision to be changed or canceled,” the statement said. “In the meantime, Metro’s mask mandate remains in effect.”

washington d.c.

Passengers and employees of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, dubbed Metro, will no longer be required to wear masks, the agency said in a statement. This includes its Metrorail, Metrobus and MetroAccess services.

CNN’s Artemis Moshtaghian, Taylor Romine, Amy Simonson, Jamiel Lynch, Jenn Selva and Theresa Waldrop contributed to this report.

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