Octa's transportation blog

Feds Join State in Requiring Face Masks on Transit

Face masks have been required on OC Bus since May 2020. Now, a federal  requirement also mandates that a face mask must be worn while waiting for and riding OC Bus as well as OC ACCESS, OC Flex and other public transit.

On January 31, the Transportation Security Administration issued a security directive that requires travelers to wear face masks while riding on or waiting for a bus, in addition to all other public transportation modes such as traveling on airplanes and trains. The directive is in support of President Biden’s January 21, Executive Order regarding mask wearing to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

According to the federal directive, a scarf, handkerchief, or face shield is not acceptable.

OCTA continues to prioritize health and safety through enhanced bus cleanings, social distancing on board, free face masks and hand sanitizer stations on every OC Bus.

OCTA, with the support of the Federal Transit Administration, has distributed more than 560,000 disposable face masks to passengers. OCTA has also worked with community partners to distribute thousands more reusable face masks to those who need them, including OC ACCESS paratransit riders.

“OCTA continues to take all necessary measures to protect the health and safety of the public and our employees,” said OCTA Chair Andrew Do, also the First District Supervisor. “The OC Bus system is critical for the public to get to essential jobs and medical appointments, so OCTA wants to ensure that all passengers wear face coverings for the health of our county’s most vulnerable, and our economy.”

Orange County remains in the most restrictive Purple Tier on California’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy.

OCTA was quick to respond to the COVID-19 crisis and has remained flexible since March 2020, making changes to public transit while moving forward on needed freeway, street and transit projects promised to voters through OC Go, also known as Measure M, the county’s half-cent sales tax for transportation improvements.

Changes to bus operations and transportation projects are regularly communicated to the public in multiple languages, including English, Spanish and Vietnamese. OCTA’s efforts include riders’ alerts, onboard information, emails, website update, press releases and social media posts.

OCTA is also actively responding to public comments through OCTA’s Customer Information Center and social media. The OCTA Customer Service Line is (714) 636-7433.

Learn more about OCTA’s Covid-19 Safety Guidelines and Operations.

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