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Transit mask policy working despite fight on bus: TransLink CEO

FILE - A fight broke out on a TransLink bus in Surrey on Saturday. (Courtesy facebook.com/nealandjackie.menzies)
Summary

Riders seem to be getting used to the idea of wearing masks or non-medical face coverings before boarding: TransLink

Between 92 and 95 per cent of transit riders are wearing masks, according to TransLink

Two men got into a nasty brawl on Saturday after one of them asked the other to wear a mask

SURREY (NEWS 1130) — Mask-wearing requirements onboard public transit are working, despite a fight on a bus in Surrey on the weekend, says the head of TransLink.

CEO Kevin Desmond said riders seem to be getting used to the idea of wearing masks or non-medical face coverings before boarding transit since they became mandatory in late August to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“We’re now between 92 and 95 per cent compliance, based on our own spot checks,” he said

“So we are very pleased with that,” he added. “There are certainly some folks who cannot wear a mask and they are exempted from that.”

Desmond called this past weekend’s fight aboard a bus in Surrey concerning, but not unexpected.

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“Fortunately, this is the only such incident that I’m at least aware of,” he said.

Two men got into a brawl on Saturday after one of them asked the other to wear a mask.

“We ask customers to contact the transit police, transit security, or use the silent alarms onboard the vehicles any time they don’t feel safe,” Desmond added.

“We also ask our customers not to attempt to enforce TransLink’s mandatory mask policy themselves. Please don’t do that.”

The bus fight is being investigated after one of the combatants was sent to hospital with a gash over his eye.