SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — When the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced Monday it will no longer enforce the federal government’s mask mandate, a number of public transit agencies in the Bay Area decided to wait on dropping a mask mandate. However, two days later, a number of those agencies, including Muni and BART, ultimately decided to drop those mandates.
Muni said in a series of tweets on Wednesday that masks will be recommended but no longer required in any of its facilities or vehicles. The agency cited its decision came from the guidance of the California Department of Public Health, San Francisco Department of Public Health, and Federal Transit Administration.
Explaining its decision to drop the mask mandate, Muni said its vehicles have excellent airflow and that the Bay Area has one of the highest vaccination rates in the country. Muni added there’s a high probability that the person next to you is protected against COVID-19.
Starting Wednesday April 20, BART announced face masks will be optional for all riders, the agency said in a press release.
BART confirmed that there are no longer any federal, state, or local level directives that enable a mask mandate on their trains. Masks will still be “strongly recommended” on BART.
The agency said all BART employees are fully vaccinated.
Golden Gate Transit
Golden Gate Transit also became one of the Bay Area transportation systems to drop its mask mandate on Wednesday, according to a statement from the agency. While masks are no longer required on buses and ferries, they remain strongly recommended.
The agency serves mostly North Bay residents, which includes Sonoma County and Marin County, looking to travel in and out of San Francisco .
This isn’t to be confused with the San Francisco Bay Ferry, which is a separate agency. The San Francisco Bay Ferry told KRON4 it will still be requiring masks.
Like the other agencies the Bay Area, Caltrain is following federal and California guidance to drop its mask mandates, Caltrain said in a tweet. One week ago, Caltrain tweeted its mask mandate will be extended through May 3 but has now since changed its position.
SamTrans, serving San Mateo County residents, also announced on Twitter Wednesday it will drop its requirement of masks. Riders are still “strongly encouraged” to wear masks.
Just like Caltrain, SamTrans announced last week it will extend its mask mandate to May 3. That announcement on Twitter quotes a tweet saying that the mandate was intended to end on April 18.
The Valley Transportation Agency announced on Wednesday in a tweet it will no longer require face masks on transit vehicles. The public transit service serves primarily Santa Clara County.
On Tuesday, AC Transit announced it will drop its mask rule on all its buses, effective at midnight on April 20. The agency serves primarily Alameda County.
These changes came after Monday’s news that the TSA would no longer enforce the federal mask mandates in travel hubs. Since then, Oakland airport, numerous airlines, public transit systems, and Uber got rid of their mask requirements.
County Connection, a bus service in Contra Costa County, has not announced whether it will drop its mask mandate.