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B.C. Transit still requiring masks for passengers

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VESTAL (WBNG) -- As many COVID restrictions have been rolled back around New York State, some sectors of life will still have noticeable safety measures in place.

One area is public transportation, which includes B.C. Transit here in our area.

Commissioner Greg Kilmer says masks are still required for riders, and social distancing is recommended. These measures are provided through the CDC, and Kilmer says they're to keep unvaccinated people safe.

"There are still a good many people who are not vaccinated, and many of whom still use public transportation," Kilmer says. "So it has become a safe, but necessary, step."

While social distancing is recommended, the buses don't have a capacity limit, and the service is doing away with roped-off sections to maintain that distance. Kilmer says that's a result of a ridership decline.

"What we're finding is that ridership has declined during the pandemic," he says. "It still makes it easier for us to meet social distancing guidelines while still getting people where they need to go. We've just learned that where we get busy on certain routes is where we will add capacity so that we're still not stacking people on top of each other."

Unlike situations on many airlines with mandates, Kilmer says B.C. Transit riders have been very welcoming to the mask requirement, with little pushback.

As of now, Kilmer says there is no time frame for when the mask mandate on public transportation could be lifted.

Cal Dymowski

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