Under federal law, masks required on Metro 

face masks required federal law 600w signage

Beginning Tuesday, February 2, 2021, a federal mask mandate took effect requiring anyone traveling on public transit nationwide to wear a mask to help protect the public and transit employees against the spread of Covid-19. This Federal order reinforces Metro's policy in which face coverings have been required on Metro since May.  

“Safety is at the top of everyone’s minds as we continue to work through this challenging time, and we appreciate the steps the Department of Transportation has taken to mandate the wearing of face masks on mass transit nationwide," said Metro General Manager/CEO Paul J. Wiedefeld. "We welcome the federal support and any policy that promotes compliance and encourages all customers to wear face masks to protect themselves, other riders, and our employees."  

In accordance with CDC guidance and the recommendation of Metro's Pandemic Task Force, the transit agency began requiring face coverings or masks be worn on trains, buses and in stations on May 18, 2020. The requirement, strengthened Metro's position issued in April that the use of face coverings was "strongly recommended." 

While the overwhelming majority of riders already comply voluntarily, the requirement is viewed as a necessary step as Metro plans for an eventual recovery with more riders using the system.  

Metro has added signage in stations and on buses and trains advising customers that the use of masks is now federal law. Metro continues to emphasize that the policy will be applied to emphasize compliance while minimizing conflict, while supporting the ability of TSA and other federal authorities to enforce the mandate when appropriate.  

The requirement to wear face masks applies in all Metro stations, trains, buses, and MetroAccess vehicles.  

The Metrorail system is open from 5 a.m. until 11 p.m. on weekdays, 7 a.m. until 11 p.m. on Saturdays and 8 a.m. until 11 p.m. on Sundays. Bus service on selected routes is provided until midnight daily; however, schedules vary by route.  

Metro continues to perform enhanced cleaning and disinfecting in all trains, buses and stations, and has distributed hand sanitizer and face masks to frontline employees. Masks are also available in stations and at some bus transfer locations for those customers that need one. 

For more information on this updated policy, check out the Department of Transportation FAQ