Masks to be mandatory for Regina city bus passengers

The City of Regina is making masks mandatory for people using city buses beginning on August 31.

The decision was announced on Thursday morning after the city moved to increase service on some routes and bus capacity with the expected return of high school students next month.

While riders not wearing masks will still be allowed on the bus, the city said they will be asking for compliance and working with passengers.

“Each situation is different to deal with and we will deal with them accordingly,” stated Kim Onrait, executive director of city services. “It’s no different than how we deal with other situations that come up.”

Riders will be allowed to wear non-medical cloth face masks, such as a bandana in two layers covering the mouth and nose, to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Exemptions to the mask rule will be set for children under five years old, people with medical conditions or passengers who cannot place or remove masks without help.

Nathan Luhning, manager of transit administration, mentioned there will be some masks available at certain stops.

“We will make masks available at key transit time points and we’ll start that on August 31,” said Luhning. “This will be for a limited time, but we are encouraging customers to bring their own masks.”

In terms of increased service, eight different routes plus high school routes will be impacted by the changes on August 31. Onrait admitted there is no definitive date for transit to resume regular operations as they continue to monitor ridership.

Bus capacity will increase to full-seated loads which is about 34-37 passengers depending on the type of bus. Paratransit units will bump up from three to seven riders.

More information can be found at the city’s website regarding transit schedules and information.

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