SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – The Utah Transit Authority no longer requires masks on any buses, trains, or rails. The decision comes after a federal court ruling overturns mask mandates on public transportation.
UTA says when making decisions like these they always try to be in line with CDC policy, and the riders say wearing a mask should be based on personal preference.
The signs might still say masks are required, but UTA announced today that their mask mandate on public transportation is now optional in accordance with the recent federal ruling.
“We’ve always taken our cues, so to speak, from the CDC,” Carl Arky Sr. Media Relations Specialist for UTA said.
UTA assured riders they will continue to provide masks to passengers wanting to wear one and will keep up with their intensive cleaning to keep people safe.
“We have people working all night long cleaning and just going up and down the buses, they’re spraying seats, they’re spraying poles, their spraying touchpoints,” Arky said.
Bus operator Spencer Petersen said throughout the pandemic UTA has ensured their employees’ safety, and this decision makes sense.
“I think things have settled down a bit, and I don’t know I’m personally relieved that I don’t have to worry about it as much,” Petersen said.
One rider said she’ll keep wearing a mask out of courtesy to others but will probably wear it less often.
“I love wearing masks but I think it’s good that we don’t need masks anymore,” UTA rider Batumika Adsikari said.
Some riders continue to wear a mask out of safety, saying it’s a personal choice.
“I think masks are fine, you don’t have to wear one but if you do that’s cool that’s up to you,” UTA rider Matthew Montano said
Other rides say wearing a mask right now isn’t necessary, and they’re glad it’s no longer a requirement.
“I think it’s best to give the people their options instead of restraining them from something they don’t want to do,” UTA rider Nimo Osman said.
And as Utah continues to phase out COVID restrictions, UTA plans to ensure safety and follow federal guidelines
“I think a lot of riders are gonna be very happy about it, I think it’s been a long two years for a lot of people and for our operators as well,” Arky said.