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Fines possible if riders refuse to wear masks on buses

By ThisIsReno
Published: Last Updated on
Free face masks are available from new dispensers installed on all RTC buses.

The Washoe County Regional Transportation Commission announced this week the Transportation Security Administration can now assess penalties against those refusing to wear a mask on buses. 

“Masks are required on all forms of public transportation, and we’re grateful to our front-line employees for their compliance,” said Mike Ake with Keolis, the company that operates RTC buses. “Consistent with public transit operations across the country, Keolis and RTC have robust public information plans in place to continue to remind passengers about the federal mask requirement.”

This Is Reno reached out to the RTC to ask if it would hold Keolis accountable should masks not be mandated.

“Keolis is enforcing the federal mask mandate,” said RTC spokesperson Michael Moreno. “Keolis requires masks to be worn at all times on all buses. If a passenger boards without a mask, the driver offers a free mask from a dispenser next to the fare box.

“If the passenger remains maskless, the driver calls it into dispatch. Dispatch then either calls security at the closest RTC station to meet the bus and remove the maskless passenger, or a Keolis Road Supervisor will meet the bus in route to remove the maskless passenger.”

Moreno also noted that beginning on Sept. 17, “the penalty for refusing to wear a mask on transit vehicles will increase to a range of $500 to $1,000 for first offenders. Penalties for a second offense will range from $1,000 to $3,000. Penalties are assessed by the [Transportation Security Agency].”

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