Masks are required again on the San Francisco Bay Area’s largest transit system, and the mandate will be in effect on BART trains until July 18, unless it’s extended again.

In a 7-0 vote, the BART Board of Directors voted Wednesday to bring back masks after a Florida federal court decision last week eliminated the mask mandate on public transportation and airplanes nationwide.

BART’s previous mask mandate was based on the former Transportation Security Administration directive.

“COVID cases are rising and we must keep riders safe, especially folks with health conditions,  immunocompromised, and kids not yet eligible to get vaccinated,” BART board President Rebecca Saltzman wrote. 


The move makes BART the outlier among local transit agencies, with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency no longer requiring masks on trains, buses and taxis. 

Under the federal ruling, mask requirements on public transit nationwide were lifted, but some agencies are opting to introduce their own mandates. Los Angeles County issued a new COVID-19 health order last week calling for masks to be worn on all public transit within the county, including buses, trains, taxis and ride-hailing service vehicles. Masks are also not required on Caltrain trains.

RELATED STORY: Does it matter if planes, trains and buses have mask mandates? 2 COVID experts weigh in.

BART’s new mask requirement is part of the agency’s Code of Conduct and requires “riders to wear masks in paid areas of the system with limited exceptions. This requirement applies to trains and all portions of stations beyond fare gates,” BART said on Twitter.

Kids ages 2 and under and people with medical conditions that prevent them from wearing masks are exempt, BART said. 



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