PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — TriMet will be requiring all passengers to wear face coverings while riding public transit, starting Wednesday, May 20.
The face-covering requirement was one of several new measures the transit system is implementing in accordance with the governor’s guidelines. Both riders and TriMet employees will need to wear a fabric mask, scarf, bandanna — anything that effectively covers the nose and mouth — while taking a train or bus. Children under two years old are exempt from this rule.
Additionally, riders will be required to maintain three feet of distance between each other. TriMet said that with the face-covering requirement, the typical physical distance standard of six feet can be reduced to three, according to the Oregon Health Authority. This new spacing will allow buses to carry between 19 to 24 passengers at a time, and train cars 22 to 26 people at a time. Last month, ridership was restricted to just 15 people per bus.
In the coming weeks, TriMet will install both hand sanitizing stations and disposable face mask dispensers “on all of its vehicles.” Staff will also be cleaning the high touchpoints in each bus and train every four hours during the day, with deep cleanings happening every night.
“These dispensers will not be on all vehicles immediately – with over 700 buses, 145 light rail cars and 6 WES train cars and hundreds of LIFT paratransit vehicles, it may take several weeks to get them installed.”