RST, RPT drop masking requirements

(ABC 6 News) – Rochester Public Transit (RPT) and the Rochester International Airport (RST) are making masks optional for passengers after a United States court ruling struck down the nationwide mask mandate for planes and other public transportation Monday.

Masks are no longer required in the airport terminal, or on any city bus in Rochester.

“I think it’s good because we have to get back to normal soon… but on the other hand I’m very nervous about having that lifted,” said a Rochester Public Transit rider.

Masks are also no longer required inside the Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport (MSP) or on any metro transit bus or train in Minneapolis or St. Paul.

“Some passengers, many passengers, are eager to ditch the mask like they were able to do in many other parts of their life,” said Rochester Public Transit Communications Coordinator Nick Lemmer.

RPT and RST still say masks are welcome, especially for people at higher risk of severe illness or who are feeling under the weather.

“Masks are welcome. In fact, we do encourage them for those who are immunocompromised or not vaccinated,” said Lemmer.

Lemmer added RPT buses will still be safe to ride and will continue to have filtered air and disinfected surfaces.

Some riders voiced concern for the rollback saying, “What risks are we willing to take when we do take public transportation? Where do we stop, where do we stop using masks, who are we putting at risk if we chose not to?”

RPT said if the City of Rochester were to reinstate a mask mandate masks would again be required for riders.