With both the ebb of Covid-19 hospitalizations and the success of vaccines, NY Gov. Kathy Hochul has lifted the mask mandate on public transportation, effective immediately.
“Starting today, masks will be optional in some places where they had previously been required, including on mass transit,” Hochul tweeted @GovKathyHochul , at 11:39 am Wednesday. She added that masking requirements “still remain in effect for state-regulated health care facilities and clinical settings. We are following the data and will continue to adjust our polices as necessary.”
TCAT Assistant General Manager Mike Smith said TCAT welcomes the news, and thanked TCAT drivers and riders for complying with the rule for more two years. “Our drivers and front-line employees did a remarkable job with mask compliance, which hasn’t always been easy when you consider that some spend 8 to 10 or more hours in the driver’s seat.”
“I thank our passengers too for their cooperation and masking up throughout this lengthy pandemic season,” Smith said. “And of course, any rider still has the option to wear a mask according to their personal preferences.”
Smith noted that TCAT has adhered closely to federal, state and local guidelines since the beginning of the pandemic more than 2-1/2 years ago to keep customers and employees safe. “We know the face-covering mandates, though sometimes challenging for everyone to follow, were key to protecting one another from the spread of the virus,” Smith said.