Public bus riders in Waterloo and Cedar Falls will soon be required to wear masks.

The policy goes into effect Monday, officials with Metropolitan Transit Authority (MET) of Black Hawk County said in a press release. The requirement is for all passengers on fixed route buses in the metro area.

In the press release, MET Transit General Manager David Sturch said requiring passengers to wear masks while riding the buses is necessary. He pointed that social distancing is unrealistic, while referencing the daily rise in local COVID-19 cases and a recent increase in ridership.

"Our goal is to work and assist our passengers to follow this new policy in order to fight this global pandemic we are all experiencing," Sturch said in the press release. "This initiative goes along with the city’s (Waterloo, but also applies to Cedar Falls) policy of wearing masks in public buildings, the increase in the number of private businesses that require a mask on their customers, and also, in anticipation with the start of the new school year."

MET Transit is following the lead of other transit agencies in Iowa that already require masks on all passengers that ride the fixed route service. Notice about the mask requirement has been posted on all buses that run fixed routes in Waterloo and Cedar Falls.

According to the press release, riders will be required to wear masks at all times while on the bus. Drivers will supply masks to any rider who doesn’t have one.

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