SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – The BART board of directors passed its own mask mandate during a Thursday morning meeting.
The move comes just hours after KRON4 reported that BART officials were considering bringing it back in the wake of a federal court order invalidating the Biden administration’s mask mandate for public transit.
Rebecca Saltzman, BART’s board president, said she wanted masking to be part of BART’s code of conduct. The rule will not apply to people who cannot wear a face covering because of a disability or medical condition, and children ages two or younger. It will be in effect until July 18, unless it’s extended again. Just a few days ago, Los Angeles County made it a requirement for people to wear masks on public transit there.
“I strongly support requiring a mask to ride BART to keep all our riders safe,” Saltzman stated in a news release. “I’m especially concerned for our riders who are immunocompromised, people with underlying health conditions, and children under the age of five who are not yet eligible for vaccination.”
The update to the BART Code of Conduct follows a decision earlier this month from a federal judge in Florida who tossed out a federal mask mandate for public transit systems and airlines. BART’s previous mask mandate, like those of other Bay Area transit agencies, had been based on the now former TSA directive.
BART’s decision also follows a move last week from Los Angeles County to maintain its mask mandate for public transportation and airports. Earlier this week, a union of East Bay transit riders issued a challenge to the AC Transit dropping its mandatory mask rule.
Free masks are available at station agent booths, and from safety staff. A citation of up to $75 can be issued to anyone who refuses to wear a mask.