RDN Transit says it’s observed 93 per cent of bus riders wearing masks. Pictured here are Daniel Pearce, RDN general manager of transportation, left; and Ian Thorpe, RDN board chairman, at a mask-wearing promo event this summer. (News Bulletin file)

RDN Transit says 93 per cent of riders wearing masks

Transit operator has mandatory mask policy that puts education ahead of enforcement

There has been buy-in from a majority of bus riders for RDN Transit’s mask-wearing policy.

RDN Transit, along with other transit authorities in the province, instituted a mandatory face covering policy Aug. 24 as a COVID-19 transmission prevention measure. The Regional District of Nanaimo said the policy was about education as opposed to enforcement and Darren Marshall, RDN manager of transit operations, said 93 per cent of customers were observed wearing masks during information gathering between Sept. 10-18.

“It’s really good,” said Marshall. “We’re encouraged that our spot check results are in line with other transit systems throughout the province, with a 93 per cent compliance. TransLink (servicing Metro Vancouver) did a similar spot check and they were about 92 per cent.”

During the visual checks, involving 10 buses a week on two separate days, Marshall said 939 passengers out of 1,013 wore face coverings.

RELATED: Masks now required on RDN Transit buses

“We were originally asked by B.C. Transit to do a spot check and we provided those results to B.C. Transit as well, so if they ask us again, we would be happy to do a spot check,” said Marshall.

For those seeking a reminder about the rules, Marshall says there is material on buses to aid with this.

“Early on, there was a bit of confusion between mandatory and not-enforced and so we’ve provided rack cards that explain the mandatory face covering policy and policy exemptions … they’re found with the riders’ guide.”

The RDN distributed 500 masks as a promotional campaign when it first made face coverings mandatory.

Both Marshall and Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, said they weren’t aware of any incidents related to people becoming irate about the mandatory mask policy.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Love thy neighbour, wear a mask


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