BC Transit to mandate use of face coverings
BC Transit, in alignment with TransLink and other transportation agencies, announced today (August 6) that it will be proceeding with mandatory use of face coverings on buses in BC Transit communities across the province as of August 24.
Accommodations will be permitted for children under the age of five and those who cannot wear a face covering for health reasons.
“We recognize the advice from health professionals, including Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, has been to wear face coverings when physical distancing is not possible including on transit vehicles. Customers have indicated making the use of face coverings mandatory will create a more comfortable environment,” BC Transit stated.
“Transit is an important service for many British Columbians. BC Transit’s decision to make masks mandatory on their vehicles will help make transit safer for fellow passengers. Find one that’s comfortable, and make time to get used to wearing them and taking them on and off as needed. Those of us who are able should be using masks on transit all the time. I do and I expect others to as well,” said Dr. Henry.
While face coverings will be mandatory, the policy will be implemented as an educational step without enforcement. The educational position is aligned with TransLink and other transit agencies in Canada.
“We will work hard to ensure customers are aware of our new policy over the coming weeks, and work together to make transit a comfortable environment for staff and customers,” BC Transit noted on its website.
“The implementation of a mandatory mask policy is in response to feedback from our customers. I am pleased to have the support of TransLink, Dr. Bonnie Henry and the Province of BC to implement this policy that will make transit more comfortable for our customers,” added Erinn Pinkerton, BC Transit President and Chief Executive Officer.
“Across British Columbia, our response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been rooted in public health. Public transit continues to be an essential service that people rely on, and we appreciate the work of our transit operators to keep these services running throughout the pandemic response and recovery. Knowing your fellow bus passengers will also be wearing a non-surgical mask or face covering will help boost people’s confidence in choosing transit while contributing to a welcoming and safe environment on our buses,” said Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Claire Trevena.
The Together We Ride campaign continues across the province, promoting the need to work together to make the transit journey comfortable for customers.
BC Transit and its local government partners are working on plans to hand out promotional face coverings later this summer.
e-KNOW file photo