RTD drops mask mandate inside buses, light rail following federal judge’s ruling

Employees, customers still encouraged to wear masks in public transit
rtd light rail generic
Posted at 2:46 PM, Apr 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-19 16:46:54-04

DENVER – Denverites who take the bus or the light rail will no longer have to wear a face mask while doing so, Regional Transportation District officials said Tuesday.

The decision by RTD comes a day after a Florida judge ruled that a mask mandate on public transit exceeded the CDC's "statutory authority," effectively voiding the mandate just days after the CDC extended it for another two weeks.

RTD officials initially said Monday they would adhere to the previous mandate – which was set to expire on May 3 – until they received further guidance from the Transportation Security Administration.

By Monday night, the TSA said it would “no longer enforce its Security Directives and Emergency Amendment requiring mask use on public transportation and transportation hubs,” giving many airlines and airports, including DIA, the green light to lift mask mandates as well.

In a news release Tuesday, officials said signage aboard RTD vehicles and displayed at facilities about face masks “will be removed as soon as practicable.”

RTD officials said they will continue to encourage people to wear masks inside public transit as “use of facial coverings remains one of the most effective means of curbing COVID-19 transmission.”

“My team has kept in mind the well-being of employees and customers at every turn during this global health emergency,” said RTD general manager and CEO Debra A. Johnson in prepared remarks. “The decision made today reflects RTD’s commitment to the communities served, and health considerations will continue to guide the actions the agency takes.”

The CDC continues to recommend that people wear masks in public transit.