TransLink-branded face masks to be rolled out in the coming weeks
VANCOUVER -- TransLink says it will be rolling out its own line of face masks in the coming weeks.
The transit authority says this is being done to help normalize the idea of wearing face coverings on SkyTrain, bus and SeaBus trips as the province gradually starts opening up during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"This one is very light and easy, so you may see more of these in the coming weeks as we start to ramp up our campaign around face coverings," TransLink spokesperson Ben Murphy said Monday. "They're very easy to talk through. You don't have any difficulty breathing through these ones…so this will be part of our campaign to normalize face coverings on the system and get people used to wearing them."
TransLink has been urging its customers to have realistic expectations around physical distancing on transit, and while masks are not expected to be made mandatory, passengers are encouraged to wear them. The TransLink masks are blue with a white T-branded logo in the upper right corner.
"We've said multiple times, physical distancing will not always be possible on transit, and that's why our recommendation around masks and face coverings is so important because it's not always going to be possible, unfortunately," Murphy said.
There are already some safety precautions in place on transit to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, such as Plexiglas barriers to protect bus drivers, keeping buses at two-thirds' capacity, as well as fare gate restrictions at SkyTrain stations, Murphy adds.
"We are strongly recommending customers wear a mask or face covering if they are able to do so," Murphy said.
Murphy said the masks are not for sale just yet, but TransLink will be releasing more details about them in the coming weeks. He added that when he tweeted a photo of the mask a few weeks ago, people were already asking how to buy them.
"There seemed to be a bit of excitement among some of the transit world so I'm sure there will be a keen interest amongst people," he said.