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Transportation Advocates Want Mask Mandate Enforcement On Metro-North

Craig Ruttle

Commuter advocates want Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont to compel the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to enforce a mask mandate on Metro-North trains.

Jim Cameron is with the Connecticut Commuter Action Group. He said Amtrak enforces the federal Transportation Safety Administration’s mask wearing mandate on regional trains. However, the MTA does not require train conductors to enforce it on Metro-North commuter trains.

“Metro-North had left the enforcement of this rule to their own MTA Police Department, which is very understaffed in Connecticut, and does not ride the trains,” Cameron said.

Cameron said the lives of thousands of daily Metro-North passengers are in jeopardy with the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19.

“Commuters who are being encouraged by the railroad on one hand to come back to the trains, come back to the office, are seeing this lack of compliance and saying, 'No I don’t feel safe. You are not creating the safe environment that I need to encourage me to come back on the train,'” Cameron said.

His group and the Connecticut Commuter Rail Council have written to Governor Lamont asking that he intervene. They want the state Department of Transportation to ensure that Metro-North enforces the mask mandate and issues citations to violators.

Ridership on Metro-North has yet to return to pre-pandemic levels.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.