APTA expresses support for new CDC mask mandate

According to a statement from APTA President and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas,

“The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) strongly supports the new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance requiring mask-wearing on public transportation. The CDC mask order will go into effect at 11:59 p.m. on February 1.

Mask-wearing is one of several proven, science-based measures that can reduce the spread and transmission of COVID-19. Wearing facemasks on public transit is a lifesaving measure that the industry wholeheartedly supports, and this guidance reflects the shared responsibility of transit systems and riders to take appropriate actions to get through this pandemic.

From the start of the pandemic, public transportation systems have worked tirelessly to keep riders safe from infection from the coronavirus. The health and safety of transit passengers is the most important priority for public transportation agencies. This focus on health and safety led to the creation of APTA’s Health and Safety Commitments Program last fall, the public transportation industry’s overarching pledge to passengers that public transit systems are taking all the necessary measures to operate safely as the nation recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. One key component in that program was a call for transit employees and riders alike to use face coverings while traveling on public transit.

No direct correlation has been found between use of public transit and transmission of COVID-19. A review of studies from around the world indicate minimal risk from using public transit, especially where specific safeguards are in place, such as face coverings. The CDC mask order is another step that allows public transportation to be a key component in reviving our communities and the nation’s economy.

We appreciate the strong leadership of the Biden Administration in issuing this mandate as they work to tackle the COVID-19 crisis, minimizing spread and re-instilling confidence in our shared public spaces.”