Sun Tran and other public transportation lift mask mandate


Ana Garcia Beltran

A Sun Tran bus leaves the Tohono Tadai Transit Center on Route 10. The route goes from La Canada Drive to Sixth Street and Stone Avenue. 

Jeremiah Ludwig

On April 18, a federal district judge in Florida struck down President Joe Biden’s national mask mandate for public transportation, sending a wave of tentative public transportation mask mandate repeals rippling across the country.

“Sun Tran has been notified that the federal mask requirement is no longer in effect for the public transit industry,” Sun Tran announced on Tuesday, officially stating that it was switching to a ‘masks optional’ policy for public transportation in the city.

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The mandate expired following Tucson’s best week on the COVID-19 front since the first few weeks of the pandemic, with 293 cases and 11 hospitalizations as of April 14.

The collapse of the mandate also comes on the heels of the two-year anniversary of the lockdowns and consistent masking, being one of the last remaining COVID-19 mitigation policies in effect with the University of Arizona switching to a ‘mask optional’ policy for most indoor spaces only a few weeks prior.

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