Valley Metro drops mask requirement for riders and employees
Valley Metro passengers and staff are no longer required to wear face coverings.
A federal judge on Monday struck down the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's order requiring masks on airplanes and other forms of mass transit. That includes Valley Metro’s trains and buses, said spokesperson Brittany Hoffman.
“Valley Metro follows the TSA, and so since the TSA has lifted their federal mask mandate, we are doing the same," Hoffman said.
In a statement, Valley Metro pointed out that the CDC still recommends mask use for indoor transportation settings. Hoffman said passengers are still encouraged to wear masks if they want to.
“We want to make sure that everybody is comfortable and safe while riding Valley Metro,” Hoffman said, adding, “I wore [my mask] this morning; you can wear yours onboard too.”
Previously, Valley Metro’s security staff had been reminding passengers of the policy and passing out masks to those who didn’t have them. Hoffman said staff will no longer be doing that, but she said free masks are still available at some transit stops.
The pandemic has had major impacts on public transit systems. Hoffman said Valley Metro ridership is recovering, but it’s still about 40% below pre-pandemic levels.