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MBTA says this time it means it: It's going to enforce its mask rule starting today

The MBTA announced today that anybody over the age of 5 caught not wearing a mask in its stations or on its trains and buses is looking at a $300 fine starting right this second.

The T says the governor's revised mask order authorizes Transit Police to start issuing tickets, although the T says cops won't be roaming trains, buses and stations looking for uncovered noses. Instead:

Customers observed not wearing a face mask or covering will first be reminded of the Executive Order. If the unmasked customer does not immediately put on a mask or face covering following the reminder, the observation will be reported to the Operations Control Center, who will report and coordinate next steps with Transit Police.

The T adds that children under 5 are exempt, although it encourages parents to put masks on kids between 2 and 5. Also exempt, people who claim medical conditions that would make mask wearing dangerous. The T says such people will not be required to carry proof with them.

Although the T has been announcing that masks have been required since March as a way to curb Covid-19, it has never enforced the rule. Now, the T "has issued internal guidance to its employees" about the new policy.

Gov. Baker updated his Covid-19 orders on Tuesday after a 300% rise in the state's Covid-19 cases since Labor Day.

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Comments

Do they apply to MBTA employees and contractors or just passengers?

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Do the rules apply to T police? Many of them wear the masks on their chin only. Will T police fine themselves?

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60

Who will watch the watchers?

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I don’t know. Coast Guard?

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Seeing s lot of people talking to seatmate with mask on their chin.

Or people yank down their masks to make or answer a call. And it's only the folks who tend to speak loudly who do this.

But honestly, seeing a lot of people indoors and not wearing a mask. Walking past Café Nero in Brookline Village, saw several people working at tables on laptops with no mask. One guy sitting in comfy chair with his back to the sidewalk, reading a newspaper --> no mask. And there was a line for coffee. It was densely packed. Prayed for the workers.

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51

It's impossible to consume coffee at a coffee shop with a mask.

On the other hand, the seats in coffee shops ('Bucks, Nero, indies) are designed for people to stay well more than 15 minutes.

The right answer in my opinion? Coffee shops get zero indoor seating. You can buy, you can use the rest room if need be, and you can leave. Similarly, if we're going to have indoor dining at restaurants, turn off all entertainment. No teevees, no music, nothing to help people linger.

Folks need to eat and drink, and I'd like to keep those options open. They don't need to hang out indoors with other people they don't know -- including employees -- for anything longer than the time needed to consume the calories.

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I’m glad they’re saying they’ll enforce this, but the exemption for “people who claim medical conditions that would make mask wearing dangerous” concerns me. Won’t some people just use this as an excuse to keep from covering up?

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Other than oppositional defiant personality disorders.

I have serious asthma and I wear a mask, and will probably continue to do so when this is over because of the research I've done/seen. I even wore one on public transit during H1N1. I've seen people using oxygen who also wear masks even though that is one of these valid reasons not to do so.

If you have a developmental disability and can't understand what is up with the masks, that's another, but those aren't the people making pathetic excuses based on pseudoscience and talking about Mask Exemption Cards and rights to not wear things (while wearing shirts and shoes).

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I have glioblastoma and a seizure disorder. If I drop and start vomiting, I'm going to drown in my own vomit if it has nowhere to go because I have a mask on my mouth. I do try, but I refuse to cover my nose because I need air. I have to wear a medical ID bracelet for this with my info. Just looking at me, you'd never guess. But just because someone doesn't LOOK sick, doesn't mean they are not sick.

Those claiming health reasons should wear face shields, they don't obstruct your breathing but do keep your spittle from landing on others.

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Face shields may stop spittle transmission, but do not stop aerosol transmission. So basically face shields are useless at stopping what science now believes may be the primary type of transmission.
If someone truly has a real medical condition, then I suggest they use The Ride, and the T should equip The Ride with full separation between the driver and the passengers.

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40

No exceptions should be granted, no mask, wear a face shield, no face shield , walk.

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None of this does any good if they do not enforce the CORRECT wearing of masks. A large number of people (On the T and elsewhere) have them hanging loosely off their mouths and not covering their nose at all. I don't know why, but that's what they do. But it doesn't even matter, because this so-called enforcement on the T won't happen. I am a daily rider, and It's just not the way the T operates. Not to mention the employees themselves (when you can find one) do not wear masks or wear them the aforementioned incorrect way.

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Not only should the MBTA staff enforce mask wearing, generally, but they should enforce the mandatory covering of both the mouth and the nose, to boot.

And the worst offenders I've seen have been MBTA employees.

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Apparently massLive ran an article that went over this and it included some of the nasty responses T employees made when asked why they were not wearing a mask. It made its way to Stephanie Pollack and she was not happy. She even took Joe Pesatauro (sp?) to task on his response to the reporter. So slowly the boom could be lowered to get them to comply.

Let's remember the T started to test their people back at the beginning of all of this and when the first 100 tested all came back positive, they stopped testing and stopped reporting it in the public media. Whoops! Didn't know that? Insider knowledge? Maybe a decent investigative reporter at MassLive can route that out through the same disclosure option they used to find out how their article was being treated internally at the T. Might find some interesting stuff.

Do I ride the T? Not right now thanks.

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was on the #77 when two MBTA employees got on at the Cambridge bus garage. One was wearing a mask under his nose. He sat down. The other was not wearing a mask at all and spent all his time standing up front, talking to the driver and blocking the front entrance (yes, this was after fare collection resumed). The only reason why I didn't report it was because I didn't have a camera with me to take their pictures. Both were still on the bus when I got off at Porter.

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This drives me batshit crazy. 1) They're interfering with the driver. 2) They're blocking the entrance/exit 3) Talk on your own damn time. 4) They always want to tell passengers what to do and how to do it, for example if you try to unfold a folded seat you get "You can't sit there?!" What's that song about scrubs in the passenger side of their best friend's ride? Yeah, T scrubs are the worst.

Good idea in theory but my guess is the Transit Police will refuse to cite anyone. By next week the total will be zero tickets issued.

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If you don't pay, do they take your car?

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Only if you're dumb enough to identify yourself on foot in the first place.

Massachusetts does not require a person to identify themselves when on foot. This goes back to a 1967 SJC decision. This was relevant when Massachusetts had decriminalized, but not legalized, marijuana. During the Boston Common MASSCANN event in 2009, people were doing civil disobedience where they would smoke in front of the cops, then refuse to identify themselves when the cop tried to issue a fine: Since the offense was ticketable ($100 fine IIRC), but not arrestable, the cop could not coerce the person to identify themselves, so they essentially could not enforce the new law.

Thus, if they can't arrest you for this $300 nonsense, if you don't identify yourself, they can't even ticket you for it either.

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Massachusetts does not require a person to identify themselves when on foot.

My understanding was that you had to identify yourself but that you did not need to carry or produce any identification documents. I can't find the SJC decision though.

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Does this apply to the ones who exposee themselves and specifically where do they have to where their mask?

The governor of the Bay State should also enforce the mask wearing and social distancing rules on the MBTA, as well. Even a minority of people not wearing masks, or who are wearing them incorrectly put other people at risk for Covid-19.

I'd love to know how they plan to enforce this on buses. The driver can only do so much. I have seen people on the 120 in East Boston with no mask or with the mask not covering their nose.

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every single MBTA bus that goes through. The fact that some people don't obey them is absolutely disgusting, because they put everybody, including themselves, other MBTA riders, friends, family and neighbors at risk. It's selfish and disgusting.

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What good are Mbta police if they are not on the trains? May as well disband them and give jurisdiction to relevant local police.

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Yeah but with a mask on, no one would ever know.

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20

Can you pay the $300 fine with a CharlieCard?

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After being reminded, people will put the mask on and take it off again when no one is looking.

The policy should be 1 strike and you are out.

Also any no mask on the nose people should be considered to have no mask on at all. Riders are in a small confined space. Take this seriously.

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Its already working. More than 100 previously red risk towns are going to see improvement in the very scientific color rankings this week.

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An Associated Press analysis reveals that in 376 counties with the highest number of new cases per capita, the overwhelming majority — 93% of those counties — went for Trump, a rate above other less severely hit areas.

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Or maybe we can all just see this as a public health crisis rather than trying to make it a partisan issue.

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Or maybe we can all just see this as a public health crisis rather than trying to make it a partisan issue.

Trump made it a partisan issue months ago, and continues to treat it as one. That's why those counties are hit so hard by the virus; the Trump supporters believe him, and don't protect each other. If you want to see it treated as a public-health crisis at the national level, you're going to have to wait until there's a different president.

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Okay.

Conversely, there is a frightening number on the left who think Cuomo did a good job with COVID in New York. Again, I guess partisanship is more important than public health.

Fuck you, asshole.

Edit: I apologize to all UHub readers for the language. I do not apologize to the jerk who earned it.

Donald Trump's response to the Covid-19 virus pandemic was criminally irresponsible--and too little too late. The fact is that Donald Trump knew about the Covid-19 virus, fired the government's anti-pandemic coalition, has constantly undermined Dr. Fauci and other experts on epidemics and pandemics, and deliberately lied to the American people by underestimating the deadliness of the Covid-19 virus, laughingly dismissing it as a hoax, while saying that the Covid-19 virus was under control, when it wasn't. The fact is that Trump knew about it back in December 2019, and in January/February of this year, when there was still an opportunity to contain and control the Covid-19 virus before it got to the stage that it is right now, and it's resulted in the unnecessary loss of over a quarter of a million American lives. It's disgusting, and Trump deserves to get voted the f**k out of office.

Anybody want a peanut?

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It’s not possible to get past them on narrow platforms like at State Street outbound Blue Line.

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I have no problem with this. I'm wearing a surgical mask for the rest of life.

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If you refuse to give your name and refuse to wear a a mask the MBTA says it will still let you ride.

Are the maskless predominately White people? Do they not value other people's health.