Passengers board a New Jersey Transit train at Pennsylvania Station on April 26, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Passengers are no longer required to wear masks on NJ Transit and other forms of public transportation in New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy announced Tuesday morning.
The end of New Jersey’s two-year mask mandate for train, bus, and other public transit users comes less than a day after a federal judge tossed the national mask mandate for airplanes and other public transit, and hours after federal agencies including the Transportation Security Administration said they’d no longer enforce masking.
“Individuals may wear a mask based on personal preference, informed by personal level of risk,” the governor said in his announcement over Twitter.
.@TSA announced that it’ll no longer enforce a mask mandate in public transportation settings. Masks will no longer be required on @NJTRANSIT & by South Jersey Transportation Authority. Individuals may wear a mask based on personal preference, informed by personal level of risk.
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) April 19, 2022
When asked for comment, NJ Transit officials echoed Murphy’s statement.
Many transit agencies in the region — including Amtrak and SEPTA in Pennsylvania — and rideshare company Uber quickly fell in line behind the federal ruling, ending mask requirements but reminding riders that masking remains recommended.
The CDC previously had extended the travel mask mandate through May 3, citing a recent rise in coronavirus cases and more time to study the BA.2 variant, known as the “stealth” variant.
But U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle in Tampa struck down the mandate Monday, sending a ripple effect across the country as businesses and agencies moved to do the same. Airlines including United, Delta, American, Southwest, and JetBlue all announced they’d lift their mask requirement.
As coronavirus cases climb, though, so does the clamor of those calling for mandates to be reinstated. Philadelphia recently became the first city to reinstate its indoor mask requirement.
Mask mandates remain in place on the PATH, which is overseen by Port Authority, as well as the New York City subway and buses, overseen by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
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