WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 1, 2021) – “The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) strongly supports the new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance requiring mask-wearing on public transportation. The CDC mask order will go into effect at 11:59 p.m. on February 1.

Mask-wearing is one of several proven, science-based measures that can reduce the spread and transmission of COVID-19. Wearing facemasks on public transit is a lifesaving measure that the industry wholeheartedly supports, and this guidance reflects the shared responsibility of transit systems and riders to take appropriate actions to get through this pandemic.

From the start of the pandemic, public transportation systems have worked tirelessly to keep riders safe from infection from the coronavirus. The health and safety of transit passengers is the most important priority for public transportation agencies. This focus on health and safety led to the creation of APTA’s Health and Safety Commitments Program last summer, the public transportation industry’s overarching pledge to passengers that public transit systems are taking all the necessary measures to operate safely as the nation recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. One key component in that program was a call for transit employees and riders alike to use face coverings while traveling on public transit.

No direct correlation has been found between use of public transit and transmission of COVID-19. A review of studies from around the world indicate minimal risk from using public transit, especially where specific safeguards are in place, such as face coverings. The CDC mask order is another step that allows public transportation to be a key component in reviving our communities and the nation’s economy.

We appreciate the strong leadership of the Biden Administration in issuing this mandate as they work to tackle the COVID-19 crisis, minimizing spread and re-instilling confidence in our shared public spaces.”


The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is a nonprofit international association of 1,500 public and private sector organizations which represent a $74 billion industry that directly employs 435,000 people and supports millions of private sector jobs. APTA members are engaged in the areas of bus, paratransit, light rail, commuter rail, subways, waterborne services, and intercity and high-speed passenger rail. This includes: transit systems; planning, design, construction, and finance firms; product and service providers; academic institutions; transit associations and state departments of transportation. APTA is the only association in North America that represents all modes of public transportation. APTA members serve the public interest by providing safe, efficient and economical transit services and products.                      

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