NEW YORK (HILL) — New York City’s subway system is still requiring masks for passengers in the wake of a federal judge’s decision to halt the federal mandate on public transportation, while the Metro in Washington, D.C., made them optional. The judge said in ruling against the mandate that the CDC went past its authority, did not follow the rulemaking process, and did not provide a good enough reason for continuing the mandate.
“The mask requirement on public transit in NY remains in effect for now pursuant to a March 2, 2022 determination by the New York State Department of Health,” Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) spokesman Tim Mitton said in a statement Tuesday.
D.C.’s Metro, following decisions from other airlines and passenger rail systems, decided to end the mask requirement after the court decision, however. “Our mask mandate has been based on federal guidance,” General Manager and CEO Paul Wiedefeld said. “We will continue to monitor this situation as it unfolds, but masks will be optional on Metro property until further notice.”
Biden administration officials continued to encourage passengers to wear masks if they choose. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Monday that the judge’s decision was “disappointing.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is “reviewing it as we speak. They’re doing it as we speak,” Psaki said. “So we would say to anyone sitting out there: We’d recommend you wear masks on the airplane. And then as soon as we can provide an update from here hopefully soon.”