February 1, 2021
Community Transit is deeply committed to providing a safe experience for all riders and our employees.
Health officials continue to advise us that the most effective way to slow the spread of COVID-19 is to wear a face covering to limit infected individuals from spreading the disease. Washington State has mandated mask wearing on public transit for several months and our customers have done a great job of keeping themselves and each other safe – nearly 99% of riders across our system are wearing masks on our buses. A new federal order has been issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that requires riders to properly wear face masks when using public transit vehicles and when on property where customers board, exit or wait for a transit vehicle.
To make the best effort to comply with the CDC Order, Community Transit will enforce customer mask compliance, effective immediately. As noted above, 99% of our riders are already wearing masks on our buses. We will continue to offer free masks on all of our buses if customers do not bring their own. However, according to the order, refusing to wear a mask or face covering is a violation of the new federal order and passengers may be subject to penalties under federal law.
Failure to comply may also result in a denial to ride or removal from our vehicles or property unless the individual is exempt because they cannot wear a mask, or cannot safely wear a mask, due to a disability, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.).
Community Transit requires that all customers properly wear a face covering over the mouth and nose at all times including:
Not all face coverings are created equal and properly wearing a mask or face covering is critical to ensure the best protection against the spread of COVID-19.
The following do not fulfill the requirements for properly wearing a mask or face covering under the new federal policy:
There are exceptions to this order, such as:
Thank you for partnering to keep our customers, employees, and community safe and healthy.
Community Transit joined six local partner agencies, transit agencies across the country, and the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) to commit to industry best practices for safe public transit in response to public concerns about riding transit during COVID-19 crisis.
Our top priorities are to continue service to the public and to keep our employees healthy and safe. Thank you for partnering with us to help prevent the spread of illness.
More information on our updated operating practices is found in our Frequently Asked Questions.
For the safety of all riders, transit workers and our communities, please follow the mandatory statewide face covering order issued by Gov. Jay Inslee and the state Secretary
of Health to wear a face covering. Wear a face covering in vanpools and while riding buses or DART Paratransit. The order requires people to wear a face covering in all indoor public spaces, as well as outdoors where 6 feet of distance from others
can't be maintained.
Exemptions include people with certain disabilities or health conditions, people who are deaf or hard of hearing, and children under the age of 5 (although it is encouraged to have children ages 3-5 wear a face covering if possible).
Public health officials suggest wearing a face covering can significantly limit the spread of COVID-19. We continue to encourage all riders to stay home when they are sick, wash hands frequently, and stay at least 6 feet from the bus driver and other passengers when on our buses.
If you have questions or concerns about the mandatory face covering order, we encourage you to visit Washington State's official COVID-19 site here: https://coronavirus.wa.gov/information-for/you-and-your-family/face-masks-or-cloth-face-covering.
We continue to offer and distribute face coverings on our buses to Community Transit customers who do not have one. However, due to limited supply, we ask that riders bring their own whenever possible.
Face coverings recommended by public health officials include cloth face coverings, scarves and bandanas. Best practices on wearing a face covering can be located here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html.
Thank you for helping to protect yourself, your fellow riders, transit workers and all those with whom you come in contact.