RIOC Acts After Complaints About Maskless Passengers on Red Buses

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Complaints from multiple sources about maskless passengers on Red Buses finally get some action. Curious, I hopped on a bus at the Tram station and got a surprise.

By David Stone

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

No More Maskless Passengers on Red Buses

As many requested, RIOC assigned a public safety officer to ride the route.

Every other passenger wore a face mask, and the officer addressed another longstanding need, making sure seats assigned for needy riders were used as intended.

An unexpected plus, the ridiculously outdated signs offering poor advice for over a year were gone. Somebody finally conceded that guidance from the first week of the pandemic was a misfit in 2021.

But on a cloudy day, with rain in the air, how would the influx of more passengers go? Would the officer enforce the mandate against maskless passengers?

And how would riders respond?

The rest of the ride was as pleasantly surprising as finding PSD onboard in the first place. Most people go along with the rules already, but for others, seeing an officer on board sent masks in place promptly.

After boarding at the subway, the mandate was firm, masks on every passenger, except for a single infant.

Moving on

At least for this ride, maskless passengers were in the past, and one more thing. As we approached the public library stop, another officer waited, checking to make sure our bus had spare face masks available.

Was it mostly for show, a commitment sure to fade? We don’t know, but after seeing PSD Chief Kevin Brown looking in at one stop…

But after riding all the way to the Octagon, I walked up through Lighthouse Park, checking on Nellie Bly construction. Drizzle falling.

Then, a little damper, I got on the next bus heading south.

No PSD officer.

And then, after a stop in the canyon, I jumped on another Red Bus at Good Shepherd Plaza.

No PSD officer there either.

But no maskless passengers either.

Although in the long run having a cop on every bus is far from essential, creating awareness is.

And for now, RIOC’s done that.

Applause and thank you.

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