In a media release Thursday, BC Transit, in alignment with TransLink and other transportation agencies, are proceeding with mandatory use of face coverings on buses in BC Transit communities across the Province as of August 24, 2020.
Accommodations will be permitted for children under the age of 5 and those that cannot wear a face covering for health reasons.
BC Transit said it recognizes 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.
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.
“The implementation of a mandatory mask policy is in response to feedback from our customers,” said Erinn Pinkerton, BC Transit President and Chief Executive Officer.
“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.”
BC Transit said it 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.
The Together We Ride campaign continues across the province, promoting the need to work together to make the transit journey comfortable for customers.
“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,” said Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.
“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.”
BC Transit and its local government partners are working on plans to hand out promotional face coverings later this summer. Stay tuned for more details!