BROOKLINE, MA — For the past four months MBTA bus and Green Line riders didn’t have to pay when they hopped on to head around town. Monday that ended as the MBTAat all above ground Green Line stops as well as on buses and the commuter rail.
The MBTA had previously asked passengers to use the back doors on trollies and buses in an effort to help keep distance between drivers and riders amid the pandemic. Because the payment method is up near the driver, that was out of bounds. But this week, the MBTA installed separators between the driver and passengers, so that riders can swipe and pay and still keep drivers separate from the general public.
Riders and MBTA employees are required to cover their faces when taking the T, after Gov. Charlie Baker signed an executive order on it in May. The order allows for an exemption allows for people with certain health issues, and goes on to note “[T] employees cannot ask anyone about the nature of their conditions,” according to tweets from the MBTA.
And that lack of enforcement has meant a number of people taking to Twitter lamenting maskless riders:
One person had an idea:
The MBTA has said it has stepped up sanitization efforts. Earlier during the pandemic, the MBTA was criticized for allowing crowded Silver Line buses. In response, the MBTA returned to an increased schedule despite low ridership. Officials said they have given permission to drivers to bypass stops, too to avoid crowding.