MTD no longer requiring masks on public transportation

A+2U+Red+MTD+bus+stops+at+the+Illini+Union+bus+stop+in+Oct.+25.+MTD+has+announced+that+they+have+lifted+the+mask+mandate+for+passengers.

Cameron Krasucki

A 2U Red MTD bus stops at the Illini Union bus stop in Oct. 25. MTD has announced that they have lifted the mask mandate for passengers.

By Dayae Lee, Assistant News Editor

The Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District announced an end to its mask mandate on Tuesday after the Transportation Security Administration lifted a security directive that required masks on public transportation.

Masks are now optional “on fixed-route, ADA paratransit, C-CARTS and at all MTD facilities including Illinois Terminal,” according to a MTD press release.

“MTD has followed guidance from local and state officials as well as federal mandates like the TSA’s mask mandate on public conveyances,” Amy Snyder, chief of staff at MTD, said in an email. “We work in coordination with these agencies, and throughout the pandemic, have tried to be as responsive and safe as possible.”

Snyder noted that Governor Pritzker lifted the state’s mask mandate for public transportation on Wednesday, and said that MTD “complies with both state and federal mandates, executive orders” and other regulations.

“In this case, both the mandate from the federal TSA and the executive order from the governor of Illinois have been lifted,” Snyder said.

Additionally, Snyder also said that throughout the course of the pandemic, public transportation “has not been proven as any more of a source of COVID-19 transmission” when compared to other public spaces, and advised passengers who feel sick to stay home.

“For our routes with higher ridership, the doors are opening and closing with even greater frequency as passengers board and alight more often,” Snyder said. “And unlike an airplane or train, windows can also be opened to let in more fresh air. Like going into any public space, there is certainly risk.”

Maggie Hughes, sophomore in Media and an MTD passenger, saw the move as positive overall but understood that some passengers may have reservations. 

“I think it’s definitely a positive step forward,” Hughes said. “I think people are right to be nervous about it, but I think we do have to look at the positive aspects that we are moving forward.” 

While Hughes will probably wear a mask for the time being, she also said that she will stop wearing masks eventually.

“I’ll probably continue to wear masks for a little bit longer and just see how many people continue to wear them,” Hughes said. “But yeah, I’ll probably stop wearing it eventually. Definitely by next year.”

 

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