L.A. Metro removes face mask requirement on Metro Bus and Rail system

Metro today announced that effective immediately, face masks on all Metro Bus and Rail Lines operating in L.A. County will now be strongly recommended, but no longer required. This follows a Florida federal court decision on Monday that eliminated the mask mandate on public transportation and airplanes nationwide.

Metro will now make wearing face masks on public transit optional and will continue to recommend riders wear masks while onboard transit vehicles to help protect their health and those of fellow riders whenever possible.

“After a devastating winter surge that threatened the integrity of our healthcare system, the County is now enjoying low community levels of COVID-19. With more tools at our disposal to combat this virus, including wider availability of vaccines, tests, and therapeutics, the County can continue to progress towards its new normal,” said First District Supervisor and Chair of the Metro Board Hilda L. Solis. “However, it is important to recognize that we still live in a pandemic, thus face masks will continue to be strongly recommended on public transit to keep ourselves and those around us safe. I urge our residents to continue to remain vigilant and look out for one another as we move forward.” 

Metro’s decision to make face masks optional while continuing to encourage their use is consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which still recommends that people continue to wear masks in indoor public transportation settings.

“As we continue to emerge from the worst effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, our No. 1 goal will always be to ensure the safety of our transit customers and employees,” said Metro CEO Stephanie N. Wiggins. “Masks are now strongly recommended, and we’d like everyone to continue to be mindful and vigilant in protecting themselves and others from the evolving threat of this virus.” 

Metro’s announcement today follows the Transportation Security Administration’s own cancellation of its security directives and emergency amendment requiring face mask use on public transportation and at transportation hubs.

During the federal face mask requirement period, Metro observed 95 percent voluntary compliance of the requirement. As part of its previous efforts to ensure safe travel on public transit during the pandemic, Metro installed face masks dispensers at major transit hubs and freely distributed masks to riders throughout the Los Angeles County region. 

Metro will be updating its messaging on face masks across our system. Please bear with us as we make these changes as quickly as possible.

For additional information, please visit https://www.metro.net/

10 replies

  1. It’s about time! Masks accomplished nothing. This change encourages people to ride the trains again but are the homeless still living on the trains and riding for free?

    • What makes you think the homeless aren’t still riding? And also, Metro NEVER enforced the rule to begin with so that wasn’t stopping anyone from riding public transit.

      At worst, the cops would be called to escort the person out and they would simply be allowed to wait for a driver that could careless.

      The only temporary change is the step up of security due to what happened in NY, but I expect that to disappear after the 4th of July holiday.

  2. 95% of riders were complying with the mandate with no issues, and Metro never really made an effort to enforce it. However it still seemed to convert the message that Metro cared. I wonder if they really thought that such a swift decision to remove the mandate would really encourage anyone to return to the system. In its own, I think it might drive some people away, while those already disregarding the rule, and probably disregarding fares will remain. The only way more people will return to Metro is to improve service in both frequency AND speed, not removing a mask requirement.

  3. It is still unsafe for people to ride without a face mask. People should get vaccinated if possible, but a few people still have legitimate medical reasons why they cannot get vaccinated, or why the vaccines don’t work. I suffered a mild breakout case, even though I was vaccinated. Some children are too young to get vaccinated.

    Metro never enforced its decision in the first place. Most bus riders voluntarily complied. Maybe half of the train riders complied.

    The federal decision against masks was made by a judge who was nominated by a “president” who never got a majority of votes, nor a majority approval rating. Neither Donnie, nor his illegitimate judge should ever have been in power.

  4. How do you justify this when the State of California still mandates wearing a face mask on public transportation

    • Simple, the feds overrule whatever the state says. That’s why I call bluff on NYC’s mandate on subways. They know at the end of the day, they are one lawsuit away from losing so much money as a result.

  5. Just came back from London, which has a REAL public transport system. Face diapers are OPTIONAL, thanks god. Stop this nonsense.

  6. As an immunocompromised person, this is a disgusting and degrading decision. It further isolates people like me from accessing our basic needs and medical care. COVID is still just as bad as it was in the beginning, in particular because of people’s willful ignorance to their harm against immunocompromised people. If you’re going to do this at least make Access free and safe. Love that you never did when Metro buses were free, and that we have to pay double the fare! Disability tax at its finest. It’s not like many disabled people are forced into poverty or anything to survive. This is a horrible decision that affects my entire life. I could become more sick or die if I get COVID. I have to replan transportation entirely because of this. Don’t even start with various “disability ride services” like Access either. Those have abandoned me and many other disabled people just trying to get home or go to their doctors. At least with the bus and train I have a bit more freedom, thanks for taking that away.