Anchorage lifts mask requirements for public transportation

A People Mover bus in downtown Anchorage
Anchorage People Mover outside the Downtown Transit Center on June 9, 2020 (Lex Treinen/Alaska Public Media)

People no longer have to wear face masks on Anchorage city buses, Mayor Dave Bronson announced Tuesday. 

The move comes a day after a federal judge in Florida struck down a directive from the Biden administration requiring masks on public transportation like buses and airplanes. 

“I am pleased to see the federal court decision reject this mandate that kept Alaskans from making their own health decisions for themselves and their families,” Bronson said in a statement.

Bronson has generally opposed any COVID-related mandates.

The city of Anchorage operates the People Mover bus service, as well as the AnchoRIDES door-to-door transportation service and RideShare, a vanpooling program.

“Riders may still choose to wear a mask if they would like,” said the mayor’s statement. “We still encourage riders to stay home when they are sick and will maintain our cleaning practices.”

The Anchorage School District also announced Tuesday that it’s lifting its mask requirement for school buses. 

“Due to recent changes from the federal government regarding transportation and COVID-19 mitigation, masks will be optional on our buses,” Superintendent Deena Bishop wrote in an email to district families. “If you don’t have a mask, we will provide one if asked.”

In Juneau, the city said Tuesday that masks are no longer required on its Capital Transit bus service and at the Juneau Airport. 

Monday’s court ruling also resulted in major airlines removing their mask mandates, including Alaska, American, Delta and United Airlines.

RELATED: Alaska Airlines lifts mask requirement

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Wesley Early covers municipal politics and Anchorage life for Alaska Public Media. Reach him at wearly@alaskapublic.org.

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