Media Center

Jan 30

ATU: CDC directive to make masks mandatory on public transportation will save lives

Silver Spring, MD – The Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) International President John Costa released the following statement regarding the CDC mask directive for public transit. 

"As the largest transit union representing workers in the U.S. and Canada, the ATU applauds the Center for Disease Control's directive to make masks mandatory on public transportation starting February 1, 2021.

"Since this pandemic began, our members have been frontline heroes keeping our communities moving, often with little or no protection. We have lost more than 120 brothers and sisters, with thousands more becoming infected with this deadly virus.

"This CDC mask directive will save lives. It comes after the deadliest month of the pandemic so far and with new, more contagious variants of the virus showing up.  It is well established that masks, coupled with vaccinations, are the best way to protect against COVID.

"Since the outbreak hit, the ATU has been at the forefront of demanding transit agencies, private contractors, and elected officials move quickly to deliver needed protections and policy changes for keeping transit workers and riders safe and our transit systems running.

“Public transportation providers need to immediately begin working with frontline workers and their unions in order to develop practical and effective protocols for dealing with passengers who refuse to wear masks as mandated by the directive. 

"The ATU commends the Biden Administration's CDC for this mask directive. We look forward to continuing to work with the Federal Transit Administration, Department of Transportation, and the Biden Administration to prioritize the safety and health of frontline transit workers and all Americans to get this pandemic under control and help the nation recover."