Face masks will be manadatory for most users of all BC Transit buses as of Aug. 24. (Photo credit: Ketet Subiyanto/Pexels)

Masks will be mandatory on all BC Transit buses from Aug. 24

New rule will apply to community bus serving Ashcroft, Cache Creek, and Clinton

As of Aug. 24, all users of BC Transit buses throughout the province — including the community bus serving Ashcroft, Cache Creek, and Clinton — will have to wear face masks when using transit.

The move comes as health professionals — including Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry — continue to advise transit users to use masks when physical distancing is not possible. Customers have also indicated that making the use of face coverings mandatory for people using transit will create a more comfortable environment.

The move brings BC Transit into alignment with TransLink and other transportation agencies. Accommodations will be permitted for children under the age of five and those who cannot wear a face covering for health reasons.

A press release from BC Transit states that “While face coverings will be mandatory, the policy will be implemented as an educational step without enforcement. The educational position is aligned with TransLink and other transit agencies in Canada.”

Jonathon Dyck, communications manager for BC Transit, says that the company realizes there are reasons why some people cannot wear a mask, and notes that the BC Transit website lists exemptions from the mandatory face covering policy. These exemptions include 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; and children under the age of five.

Dyck says that BC Transit will be taking an educational approach, and that if a passenger is not wearing a mask they will not be challenged.

“If someone gets on a bus without a mask the driver will assume they fit into one of these five exclusion categories,” he says. “We don’t know everyone’s story, don’t know their circumstances, but we know that people want there to be mandatory face coverings, and that they will be wearing them if they can.

“The expectation is that if you don’t meet one of these exclusion criteria you’ll wear a face covering. It’s something passengers have said they want, and Dr. Henry has noted that if you can’t physically distance you should wear a mask. We expect people to take that step if they can.”

He notes that an educational approach is something they have seen other transit companies take across Canada.

“They’ve had significant successes, and we think we can implement it with success. We don’t know other people’s stories, and we would ask other bus riders to take that stance. We all need to do our part.”

Dyck says that customers have identified three areas of particular importance. “They want increased cleaning, which we have implemented; capacity management, where we don’t have jam-packed buses; and a mandatory face covering policy. These are all steps that we’ve taken, along with others endorsed by Dr. Henry and WorkSafeBC.

“As we make further adjustments we will let the community know.”

BC Transit says that it will be working to ensure that customers are aware of the new policy, and is also working on plans with local government partners to hand out promotional face coverings later this summer. The “Together We Ride” campaign continues across the province, promoting the need to work together to make the transit journey comfortable for customers. Details are available at www.bctransit.com/together-we-ride.

For more details about the mandatory mask policy and BC Transit’s response to COVID-19, visit www.bctransit.com or call your local transit office. For the Ashcroft-Cache Creek-Clinton bus, that is Yellowhead Community Services in Clearwater (250-674-2600, or email info@yellowheadcs.ca).



editorial@accjournal.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

BC TransitCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Interior Health reports three additional COVID-19 cases in region

The number of cases in the region since the beginning of the pandemic are now at 492

Six additional COVID-19 cases overnight in Interior Health region

The total number of cases within the region is now at 486

Controversy in Fraser-Nicola riding as NDP names their candidate

Entire riding association executive resigns after Aaron Sumexheltza wins NDP nomination

New physician unexpectedly leaves Ashcroft clinic

Dr. Stephen Akinkuni started work at the Ashcroft Family Medical Practice in March 2020

Lions want to make Smile Cookies campaign a roaring success

One hundred per cent of funds raised will go back into the community

QUIZ: A celebration of apples

September is the start of the apple harvest

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

Most Read