All public transit users will now have to wear a face-covering during their entire commuting journey as masks are now needed while riders wait at bus stops, not just while onboard buses.
BC Transit updated its policy to align with the new mandatory mask orders implemented by the province’s health officials.
Face shields are now also a no-go for bus riders, as they can have an opening below the mouth and are no longer considered a proper face-covering, said BC Transit. For a list of approved face coverings, BC Transit asks you to refer to the BCCDC.
Under the order, BC Transit supervisors and managers will now have the authority to enforce compliance with the assistance of local authorities if necessary.
“Transit Operators are responsible for the safe operation of their bus. As with any issues, the operator has the ability to report those being vocal to the noncompliance of the mask mandate to their transit supervisor or manager,” said BC Transit.
Customers who observe others not following the rules can report any instances to their local transit office, helping the company provide on-road support.
Customers should not attempt to enforce the Ministerial Orders, said BC Transit.
“It is important to remember there are reasons a person may not be able to wear a face covering,” said the bus company in a release on Friday
“BC Transit asks customers to please be kind to each other, and if someone is not wearing a face-covering to assume they meet our exception criteria.”
The transit company says it’s adjusted its exemption list to better align with orders from the province.
Mandatory mask exceptions for BC Transit:
-People with health conditions or with physical, cognitive or mental impairments who cannot wear one
-People who cannot remove a mask on their own
-Children under the age of 12
-Transit Operators working alone behind a full driver door or vinyl panel are also exempt from wearing a face mask as indicated by Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.
Staff onboard BC Transit vehicles and not behind a full driver door or vinyl panel will be required to wear a face-covering unless they meet the exemption criteria, says the company.
There will be new signage on buses, bus stops, and destination signs, as well as onboard announcements to let patrons know of the new changes.
For details about BC Transit’s full COVID-19 response, visit their website.