NJ Transit says no to trains with a mask-only section

Pending the overturning of a federal court ruling, masks will remain optional but not required on NJ Transit.

Masks were mandatory in all forms of public transportation, including terminals and train stations, until U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle in Tampa ruled that the CDC’s mandate exceeded the authority of U.S. law enforcement officials. health. The CDC did not wrongly justify its decision to extend the warrant and did not follow through with developing the appropriate rules, according to Mizelle. The decision is being appealed by the CDC.

Ahead of the court’s decision this month, commuter Adam Reich floated the idea of ​​a ‘compulsory masked’ car for those who are uncomfortable boarding crowded trains without everyone on board. world is masked.

Board member James Adams asked the agency to investigate the feasibility of such a car.

NJ Transit spokesman Jim Smith told New Jersey 101.5 on Thursday that there are no plans to extend the mask mandate at this time.

“However, masks remain optional, and we encourage anyone who wishes to continue wearing them to do so if it makes for a more comfortable travel experience,” Smith said in an email. Free masks continue to be available at customer service offices while supplies last.

Smith did not say what was preventing NJ Transit from putting a masked car in place.

The CDC recommends wearing a mask on public transport.

Masking sign at NJ Transit’s Hamilton station

Masking sign at NJ Transit’s Hamilton station (Dan Alexander, Townsquare Media NJ)

Support for a mask mandate

Passengers don’t seem to have a problem wearing a mask on public transport.

A Quinnipiac University poll shows 54% of Americans nationwide do not support a public transportation mandate while 51%

Without a mask requirement, 56% of survey respondents say they would always wear a face covering on a plane. Fifty-three percent would wear a mask when riding a public bus, subway or train. Overall, 65% would feel comfortable traveling on buses, subways and trains without a mask requirement.

Rebecca Weiss has worked from home for more than two years and said she doesn’t believe older NJ Transit equipment provides proper air filtration.

“I always wear masks when I’m in a store or in a crowded space, so I would probably choose a masked car if offered,” Weiss said.

Masking sign at NJ Transit’s Hamilton station

Masking sign at NJ Transit’s Hamilton station (Dan Alexander, Townsquare Media NJ)

try

Reich lobbied for a masking car from racers in the form of an online petition asking NJ Transit to try it.

“We’re asking NJ Transit to at least try this concept and evaluate it in the field,” Reich said.

He said the hidden car could be implemented with just signage and announcements much like “Quiet Cars” are established.

Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at [email protected]

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