ANN ARBOR, MI – The Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority (TheRide) is reminding riders to continue wearing face masks by order of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), which has mandated the face mask requirement through Sept. 13 for all over-the-road buses and commuter bus systems.
“The TSA’s federal mask requirement seeks to minimize the spread of COVID-19 on public transportation, and TheRide remains dedicated to protecting the health and safety of its riders and employees,” said Bryan D. Smith, TheRide’s Deputy CEO of Operations.
“That is why we will continue to take a cautious and measured approach to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 by respectfully asking our riders to comply with federal law by wearing a mask and maintaining physical distancing when waiting for and riding the bus,” Smith continued.
“While our communities are moving in the right direction, and the vaccination rate is increasing, we know masks still remain an important tool in defeating this pandemic. We will continue to work closely with federal, state and local guidance to evaluate the need for these directives and recognize the significant level of compliance thus far.”
Exemptions to the face mask requirement for travelers under the age of 2 and those with certain disabilities will continue. The existing civil penalty fine structure will also remain in place through Sept. 13, starting at $250 and rising to $1,500 for repeat offenders of the federal face mask requirement.
To reduce the spread of COVID-19, TheRide has established the following preventive measures and restrictions to keep both riders and drivers safe:
- Customers are required to wear a face covering, per federal law.
- The driver is to be approached for emergencies only.
- Buses are cleaned with CDC-recommended protocols.
- Transit centers are open for customer transactions only.
- Social distancing signs are posted at transit centers and in buses.
- Fewer passengers are allowed on each bus.
- Plastic barriers are added to separate drivers and riders.
- Sanitation supplies are provided to employees.
- Masks, gloves and face shields are provided for drivers’ use.
- Lost and Found collection has been temporarily suspended.
The latest information on TheRide’s routes, schedules and detours is available at TheRide.org or 734-996-0400.