Masks are no longer required on Valley Transit Authority buses, light rail and paratransit vehicles and at all VTA facilities, the regional transportation agency announced Wednesday.
The April 20 announcement was made “In light of recent decisions by the federal government to lift mask requirements on public transit” in the wake of a Florida federal court decision.
Airlines, airports and other transportation agencies had followed suit. Caltrain updated its policy Wednesday saying it no longer requires masks, but will continue to monitor any future federal, state, or local directives. BART officials tweeted Wednesday that 'There are no longer any federal, state, or local directives enabling a mask mandate at BART.' The BART board is to consider a proposal to require masks on BART at its April 28 meeting.
The Biden Administration has asked the Justice Department to appeal the ruling which challenged the federal government’s authority to issue mask mandates, but lifted the rules, which were due to expire May 3.
“VTA is strongly recommending, but not requiring passengers and employees to wear masks,” the transportation agency said in its statement.
“While the reversal in mask requirement at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are court-mandated, this does not signal an end to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the agency warned. “Public health experts still recommend wearing facemasks in a variety of settings, including mass transit”
VTA is in the process of removing on board signage requiring masks and changes will be made accordingly.