CTA Announces Free Face Mask Pilot Program

December 29, 2020

New mask dispensers on buses part of continued focus on healthy commutes

As part of its continuing efforts to promote a healthy travel environment, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) has begun a pilot program to provide free, disposable face masks on CTA buses.

Initially, the pilot program will feature disposable mask dispensers on 200 buses serving 20 bus routes serving all areas of the city, including high-ridership routes such as the #56 Milwaukee, #91 Austin and #77 Belmont.

Image of Facemask Dispenser on a CTA bus

The disposable masks will be available from dispensers placed at the front of the bus, near where customers board.

“Since the start of the pandemic, my No. 1 focus has been to provide the healthiest travel environment for our customers and employees,” said CTA President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. “This new pilot program reflects our unwavering commitment to seek out new tools and ideas to help keep everyone healthy during this ongoing pandemic.”

The pilot will allow CTA to assess a variety of factors, including demand for masks and logistics for replenishing stock on buses that are out in service all day. If successful, the program will later expand to the remainder of CTA’s buses serving all 129 routes, as well as rail stations.

The free mask pilot is the latest among numerous steps the agency has taken to promote a healthy and safe travel environment.

First and foremost, the CTA has implemented and expanded a rigorous cleaning regimen for buses, trains and stations, with greatly expanded resources dedicated to cleaning and disinfecting—including new technologies like electrostatic sprayers. CTA continues to run as much service as possible to provide adequate space for social distancing, and has created online dashboards to help customers determine the least-crowded times to travel.

The CTA also continues giveaways of free Travel Healthy kits, which include a reusable cloth mask, hand sanitizer and healthy travel tips. More than 19,000 kits have been distributed across the system since summer, with additional giveaway events planned in early 2021.

To learn more about this and other measures being taken to ensure a safe and healthy CTA travel environment, visit: transitchicago.com/coronavirus/

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