FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 2, 2021
MARTA APPLAUDS FEDERAL MASK REQUIREMENT; REMAINS COMMITTED TO THE USE OF MASKS TO PROTECT THE HEALTH OF CUSTOMERS, EMPLOYEES
MARTA to Continue Free Mask Distribution as Pandemic Persists
ATLANTA – The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) applauds the new federal mandate that masks be worn on public transportation and in all transportation hubs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced the requirement after President Joe Biden signed an executive order calling for “immediate action” regarding masks on public transportation.
“We began requiring masks last July under our Ride With Respect Policy, after health officials stressed their importance in slowing the spread of COVID,” said MARTA General Manager and CEO Jeffrey Parker. “We are supportive of this federal mandate and grateful to our valued customers who continue to mask up, protecting themselves and others.”
For months, MARTA has been distributing free masks to customers in rail stations and bus bays and to date, has handed out over one million masks. Last fall, MARTA invested approximately a quarter of a million dollars to outfit all 540 buses in its fleet with mask dispensers, antimicrobial air filters, and operator shields. Additionally, all buses, trains, and facilities are cleaned using electrostatic sprayers that disperse a disinfectant mist that clings to all surfaces and dries immediately.
These safety features, combined with a 97 percent mask compliance on the system, have allowed MARTA to continue providing essential public transit during an extremely difficult time.
The federal mandate requires masks be worn by customers and employees at all transportation hubs, including airports, bus terminals, marinas, ports, subway and train stations, and any fixed facility at which passengers are picked up or dropped off. It requires masks on all forms of public transportation such as buses, trains, planes, ferries, taxis and in an Uber or Lyft.
MARTA continues to inform riders of the mandatory mask use through announcements, its website and social media pages, and through My Commute alerts. Customers may use the See & Say app to report non-compliance directly to MARTA Police. Customers who refuse to wear a mask will be issued a 12-hour suspension from the system.