The MPTA and TSA are working to connect transit agencies across the state to work more collaboratively together through a round table discussion that took place on February 18, 2021. The full video of the discussion is available above and the questions from the Q and A sections are available below. The round table discussion topics included:
- High-level overview of the TSA – role in surface transportation security
- Review TSA security directive – mask requirements in public transportation
- TSA no-cost, industry support programs
- How to contact local TSA Surface Security Representatives
- Q and A
Frequently Asked Questions on the Federal Mask Mandate:
The Missouri Public Transit Association hosted a round table discussion today with the TSA on the recently announced federal mask mandate for public transit. Below are some of the frequently asked questions and answers gleaned from the conversation.
- Are riders forbidden transportation if they board without a mask and how are riders handled who board/attempt to board a train where a driver is not in view when they board?
- Transit owners/operators must require that individuals wear a mask while on buses, vans, trains and other spaces owned and operated by public transit providers, including transportation hubs and stations. Rare exceptions are listed in Sections D., E. and F. (page 3) of the Security Directive, which can be accessed here.
- Failure to compile could result in denial of boarding, disembarkment or removal from the transportation facility.
- Transit owners and operators are required to establish procedures on how to reasonably request that individuals properly wear masks and to manage situations with persons who refuse to comply with the mask requirements.
- What is the driving force behind the reminder of the federal mask mandate?
- Many transit agencies in the state have been requiring masks for several months – however some have not. In response to President Biden’s Executive Order 13998, which was signed the end of January, the MPTA is issuing a reminder statewide to ensure everyone was aware of the fact that there is now a federal mask mandate for public transit. This means all transit riders and operators must wear a mask while on buses, vans, trains and other spaces owned and operated by public transit providers, including transportation hubs and stations, to help mitigate the risk of COVID-19.
- Are there any measures being taken for passengers who board wearing a mask but may remove their mask or lower their mask from the mouth after boarding for any reason (talking on the phone, eating, etc.)?
- Food and drink are not allowed on most public transit vehicles, however per Section D (page 3) of the Security Directive, which can be accessed here, the requirement to wear a mask doesn’t apply when eating or drinking for brief periods. Masks must be worn between bites and sips. Prolonged periods of mask removal are not permitted for eating or drinking.
- Talking on the phone is not a circumstance by which wearing a mask doesn’t apply. Individuals must properly wear masks while talking on a device.
- As noted above, transit owners and operators are required to establish procedures on how to reasonably request that individuals properly wear masks and to manage situations with persons who refuse to comply with the mask requirements.
- Is a face shield considered a viable mask?
- According to the directive, face shields are not considered a proper mask for transit riding purposes.