“No Mask, No Problem” says PARTA bus company


Courtesy of Portage Area Regional Transportation Authority

Effective April 19, masks are not required on PARTA buses.

Joshua Bailey, Reporter

Face coverings are no longer required for riders or bus drivers on Portage Area Regional Transportation Authority buses or at its transit center in downtown Kent, following a federal court ruling Monday.

U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump, issued the ruling stating the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) exceeded its authority by imposing the mask requirement.

Mizelle cited the Public Health Services Act of 1944, claiming the law only allows the CDC to impose measures related to “inspection, fumigation, disinfection, sanitation and other measures” to control disease transmission. She argued mask-wearing does not fall under any of those.

Following the court ruling, the CDC said it would no longer enforce its Jan. 29 order requiring masks on public transportation conveyances and transportation hubs, including airports, bus terminals, subway stations and train stations, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

In addition, the Transportation Security Administration said it will not enforce its mask-related Security Directives. TSA is also withdrawing its recent Security Directive, which was issued April 15.

The federal government is reviewing the Florida judge’s decision at this time. If the Department of Justice decides to appeal the ruling, it will go before the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

At this time, the CDC recommends people continue to wear masks in indoor public settings, including on public transportation.

Joshua Bailey is a reporter. Contact him at [email protected].