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Most Of B.C. Is Making Face Masks Mandatory On Public Transit

Compass Card Fare Gates

Photo: Joe A. Kunzler

Starting August 24th, face masks will be mandatory on public transit across much of the province.

TransLink and BC Transit made the announcement, Thursday, saying the move is “essential” to ensuring people feel confident while riding, amid the pandemic.

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“Physical distancing is not always going to be possible on transit, particularly once more riders return to the system,” said TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond in a statement. “Customer confidence is key to rebuilding ridership in the context of this pandemic and we believe this step is important to bring many of our riders back.”

BC Transit said the new policy will be implemented “as an educational step” without enforcement, as the company works to make riders aware of the requirement.

TransLink said transit police will be able to enforce the rule, but the company will initially focus on awareness and education. 

Children under five years old and anyone who can’t wear a face covering, due to a medical condition, will be exempt from the policy, said both authorities.

A recent study has shown about a third of people wear masks on public transit. The question of whether to make it mandatory or not has been up for debate, as cities like Montreal and Toronto have enforced this rule.

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