Consistent with the countywide public health order requiring the use of face coverings in public places, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) will require all transit riders to wear face coverings when using the Metro Bus and Rail system beginning Monday, May 11.
The requirement follows a revision of Metro’s earlier policy from April 6 that strongly recommended that riders wear face coverings to help prevent the spread of the Coronavirus at Metro stations and on transit vehicles.
The new requirement will be bolstered by a new, multi-media education effort that will include additional signage and social media announcements, among others.
Metro will enforce the requirement to the extent that is practical and will be considering the best way to enforce this rule going forward. Additionally, Metro will be looking into ways it can help riders obtain face coverings while protecting the agency’s own supply of coverings that are needed for employees.
“This new requirement will further complement Metro’s continuing efforts to keep all riders and employees safe,” said city of Inglewood Mayor and Metro Board Chair James Butts. “But to be truly effective and to avoid enforcement nightmares, we must rely on the cooperation of the traveling public. If you’re a daily rider, do your part: cover your face and help us all protect your life and the lives of everyone who critically depends on our transit system for essential rides.”
Face coverings, however, are not advised for some riders with disabilities or those with certain non-virus health conditions, including those with difficulty breathing. Metro seeks to protect the civil liberties of all riders to the greatest extent possible.
“We know wearing face coverings helps to prevent the spread of this virus,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn. “We are asking Metro’s riders to do their part so that our transit system can remain safe.”
Metro has already implemented several important measures to protect the public and its bus operators. The agency required rear-door boarding on buses in March and simultaneously, mandated that bus operators use the plexiglas shields that help separate operators from passengers. All Metro buses are equipped with these protective barriers. Metro has also ordered personal protective equipment for all front-line employees. To date the agency has supplied employees with over 715,000 pairs of gloves, more than 385,000 masks and over 40,000 personal hand sanitizers.
“As we prepare to restore bus and rail service that has been reduced due to the COVID-19 crisis, we want transit to be as safe as possible,” said Metro CEO Phillip A. Washington. “The enforcement of this new requirement will be a work in progress, but we are committed to doing everything within our power to protect both the public and our employees.”
For additional information about Metro’s COVID-19 safety measures, please visit http://www.metro.net.