The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an order requiring all operators and transit customers to wear face masks at transit stops and on board to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The order goes into effect late tonight. According to the order, customers must wear masks while waiting at transit stops, boarding, disembarking, and the whole time on board.
RideKC transit partners have required face coverings since local governments issued emergency orders last year. The new CDC order requires transit riders to wear face masks that cover both the mouth and nose. Scarves and bandanas are no longer an acceptable face covering on RideKC transit.
“When the pandemic started, RideKC made a commitment to follow CDC guidance to take proactive measures to protect our employees and community from the impact of COVID-19,” said Robbie Makinen, KCATA president and CEO. “Following the new order confirms our commitment to keeping the public safe and providing zero fare transit for essential trips.”
The new guidance applies to RideKC Bus, MAX Bus Rapid Transit, RideKC Micro Transit, RideKC Freedom and Freedom On-Demand and the KC Streetcar.
“Public transit is important to the vitality of the region,” said Justus Welker, Director of Unified Government Transit. “The wearing of face masks will help keep our drivers and passengers safe as we continue to provide essential service in our community.”
In addition to the mask mandate, RideKC has also adjusted routes, suspended fares, added rear-door boarding, and socially distanced seating to stop the spread of COVID-19. The KC Streetcar has also reduced operational hours during this time.
“We thank all of the region’s transit riders for doing an amazing job supporting the mask requirement to this point and we ask for everyone’s help in continuing to comply with this important mandate as we work together to keep Kansas City safe,” said Tom Gerend, Executive Director of the Kansas City Streetcar Authority.
For updated KC Streetcar hours and COVID-19 information, visit www.kcstreetcar.org/covid19.
Additional information about the CDC mask mandate can be found in the CDC order.