Face masks will now be required on DART buses and trains through Jan. 18. The transit agency’s mask requirements were previously set to expire in September.
DART doesn’t have much say in the matter, as it’s obligated to follow a new Transportation Security Administration directive that extends mandated mask-wearing on public transit. It’s federal law. With the delta variant of COVID-19 running amok, it’s also just good practice.
Refusing to wear a mask, unless exempted or excluded under the CDC guidelines, is a violation of federal law and failure to comply will result in denial of boarding or removal, and passengers may be subject to federal penalties, including a fine ranging from $250 for the first offense up to $1,500 for repeat offenders.
Free face masks are available in handy little dispensers on buses and trains. Your correspondent grabbed one this morning. For whatever this paragraph of anecdotal evidence is worth, I’ve also noticed pretty decent mask compliance on the Blue Line. I’ve seen DART fare inspectors passing out masks to the unmasked without incident. Again, all anecdotal. But are DART riders less inclined to freak out about masks than airline passengers?