Heads up, Hamilton public transit users: starting today officially, the Hamilton Street Railway (HSR) is mandating the wearing of face masks or coverings for all passengers on city buses.
This follows an announcement made a few weeks ago by the HSR, explaining that face masks, which have only been merely suggested for transit riders up to this point, would be required going forward as an added safety measure amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The mandate applies to all HSR city buses, DARTS vehicles, and TRANSCAB services.
Starting TODAY (June 22, 2020) customers will be required to wear a non-medical mask while riding the bus, taking DARTS and using Trans-Cab. This extra step can help reduce the spread of #COVID19 & help protect others. Details: https://t.co/IRCMWeEyIB pic.twitter.com/agFICuF3v6
— Hamilton Street Railway (@hsr) June 22, 2020
Other steps the HSR has been taking to ensure the health and safety of operators and passengers is limiting the number of riders on board at one time, and only allowing entry from the rear doors of the bus to limit contact with the HSR driver.
The masks worn on board by passengers do not need to be medical grade; in fact, they can be simple non-medical face coverings, which are shown to be effective in limiting the spread of COVID-19 by reducing the expulsion of droplets when sneezing, coughing, speaking, and simply breathing.
The move to mandate masks also comes with an upgrade in passenger limits on HSR buses, with the current limit of 10 passengers per standard-size bus being increased to two-thirds capacity. Front door bus entry and fare collection, both of which had been suspended amid COVID-19, will also be resuming as of July 1st.
Exceptions for mask wearing will be made for children under the age of two, as well as for those who cannot wear a face covering for medical reasons. Hamiltonians are advised to only utilize public transit for essential trips.
Lead image courtesy of @hsr