Valley Metro will require all riders to wear face coverings on all public transit services, starting July 1, according to a release.
Services include bus, light rail, paratransit, Dial-a-Ride and vanpools. This also includes on-board vehicles and at stops, stations and transit centers. The Valley Metro Boards of Directors made the decision at their June 18 meeting.
The intent is to help reduce the spread of the COVID-19 and to continue to foster a safe environment for transit workers and riders while on Valley Metro operated services, according to the release.
A face covering must cover the rider’s nose and mouth and can include bandanas and scarves. Children under 2 should not wear face coverings, as well as those with medical conditions preventing them from wearing masks.
"It may not be obvious to riders who is unable to wear a face covering, so we ask that riders be considerate of those without one," Valley Metro states. "All transit personnel will be instructed to not prevent riders without a face covering from boarding or riding."
While Valley Metro encourages riders to bring or make their own face coverings, Valley Metro will offer masks to riders through field staff, outreach events and mobile distribution.
Public transit agencies across the country, including Valley Metro, continue to work tirelessly to provide safe and efficient service during the COVID-19 pandemic, the release states. The health and well-being of riders and employees are Valley Metro's top priority, and they encourage riders to socially distance and follow the Center for Disease Control’s guidelines. Valley Metro uses a regularly scheduled cleaning process for transit fleet and public spaces, which includes disinfecting high-touch surfaces and anti-viral fogging on buses and light rail vehicles.