Public transportation agencies across the Susquehanna region announced that they will enforce mask requirements for riders until September 13, 2021, per the mandate from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). Capital Area Transit (CAT), rabbittransit, Red Rose Transit Authority, BARTA and Lebanon Transit (LT) are among the region’s grantees who receive Federal Transit Administration funding and are obligated to comply with the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) mask mandate until September 13, 2021.
This announcement comes with the news that Governor Wolf has lifted the masking order as of June 28, 2021, communicating that Pennsylvanians may choose not to wear a mask, unless they are required by a business or organization. “It is very important that the riding public understands that the June 28 announcement by the Governor does not change the facemask requirement for transit riders,” states Dave Kilmer, Executive Director of South Central Transit Authority (SCTA).
While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has lifted the masking order for those who are fully vaccinated, it still requires those traveling on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation or at indoor transportation hubs to wear a mask. For more information visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated.html#vaccinated
FTA amended its Master Agreement with local transit authorities to incorporate the requirements of the CDC mask order. FTA’s Master Agreement contains the standard terms and conditions that apply to every grantee. The amendment includes enforcement actions FTA may take for non-compliance. “It is critical that we follow this mandate, as this is a direct requirement of funding for local public transportation. Without the FTA’s support, local service across countless communities wouldn’t exist,” comments rabbittransit and CAT’s Executive Director, Richard Farr.
The regional transit agencies are asking riders to respect the mandate in order to minimize transit delays that stem from mask conversations. The transit authorities have equipped drivers with extra masks that are available to the public for free. “While we are all working towards a return to normal, we ask our customers to continue to mask-up prior to boarding. Wearing a mask will help the transit providers remain compliant with Federal requirements and avoid unnecessary travel delays,” notes LT’s Executive Director Theresa Giurintano.