NewsLocal News


Local transportation agencies drop mask mandates following federal court ruling

From planes and trains to buses, wearing a mask is now optional for countless travelers across the country
Posted at 6:48 PM, Apr 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-19 22:37:35-04

Many transportation agencies across the Central Coast quickly lifted their mask mandates following a federal judge's ruling on Monday that struck down the Biden Administration's mask mandate.

From planes and trains to buses, wearing a mask is now optional for countless travelers across the country.

"Masks will be optional this evening for all crew and passengers as well," announced a crew member aboard a Delta Airlines flight to San Francisco Monday night.

Some passengers cheered and immediately took off their masks after the announcement.

This came after a U.S. District judge concluded that the federal mandate exceeded the CDC's authority.

The ruling is now having ripple effects across the country and the Central Coast.

"Trying to keep up with the federal mask mandate does affect us. One day we're okay, one day we're not okay," said Blanca Ruiz, Office Manager at Central Coast Shuttle Services.

Central Coast Shuttle Services is no longer requiring masks on rides from Santa Maria to LAX.

"Some want to wear it, some don't and we understand each person's concerns," said Ruiz, who informed passengers that masks are no longer required in shuttles.

The Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District is also lifting its mask mandate on buses and at transit centers.

"The one place where masks have been required pretty much this whole time is on public transit," said Hillary Blackerby, Planning and Marketing Manager for the Santa Barbara Metropolitan District.

Blackerby said that the district had been expecting the mask mandate to be lifted at some point in the near future.

"Obviously, with the court order, that came more quickly than we were expecting by a couple weeks," she said.

While many agencies have dropped their mask mandates, some may have not just yet. That's why it's important to check ahead before you travel.