Face masks and coverings mandatory on transit starting tomorrow

Aug 23 2020, 2:41 pm

A friendly reminder to transit riders that starting Monday, TransLink will require customers to wear masks or face coverings while on board transit vehicles.

The decision to implement the new policy was made because “physical distancing is not always going to be possible on transit, particularly once more riders return to the system,” said TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond.

As part of its decision, TransLink also noted that customers who are unable to wear face coverings “due to an underlying medical condition or disability” will be exempt from this policy and won’t be asked to wear a mask or face covering.

These customers, said TransLink, “will have the option to request a TransLink branded card which notes they are exempt from wearing a face covering.” The cards will be made available at Compass Customer Service Centres at Stadium-Chinatown and Waterfront Stations.

Exemptions for TransLink said its exemptions for its mandatory face mask policy include the following:

  • Anyone with an underlying medical condition or disability which inhibits the ability to wear a mask or face covering
  • Persons unable to place or remove a mask or face covering without assistance
  • Children under five years of age
  • Employees working behind a physical barrier or within areas designated for employees and not for public access
  • Police, employees, or first responders in an emergency

When it comes to enforcement of the new policy, TransLink said that although Transit Police will be able to enforce a rule or signage requiring face coverings on transit, “the initial focus of this policy will be on awareness and education.”

Part of that awareness is being spread by Gurdeep Pandher, who has teamed up with the transit company to communicate the importance of wearing a face covering.

Hailing from the small town of Siahar, India, Pandher moved to Canada in 2006 and settled in Whitehorse, Yukon, where he started teaching bhangra classes. Now, better known as Gurdeep Pandher of Yukon, he lent his skills to TransLink to help get the word out.

Check out their collaboration below.

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