Metro has announced that it will be installing more than 2,000 mask dispensers on board of their trains and buses, Metro Micro vehicles, and at Metro Rail stations. 

 

This week the agency will be installing 500 dispensers, and another 500 in the week to come. One Twitter user shared a picture of the dispenser already installed. 

 

Both Metro and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention require riders to wear face masks on public transit. As the agency wrote on their website, Metro is installing the dispensers “to make it easier for riders who may have forgotten or misplaced their mask.” The masks will be available for anyone who needs one, and the dispenser will reportedly be replenished daily.

 

Moreover, “Metro has also stepped up cleaning of buses and trains and is working to ensure adequate ventilation on its vehicles,” the agency wrote on their website. Scientists have said public transit is one of the most COVID-safe places to be outside the home. Many scientific studies have reassured people that it’s largely safe to take public transportation given that many public transit vehicles are relatively uncrowded, well-ventilated, and usually not the site of the kind of loud conversations that can accelerate the spread of airborne particles. Also, the fact that most transit agencies are requiring personal protective equipment to passengers also factors in.

 

Some scientists also think that most intra-urban public transit trips are too short for passengers to inhale the high concentration of aerosols necessary for virus transmission. Some epidemiologists even think that shared car services, such as Uber and Lyft, may be more dangerous than mass modes.

 

Recently, President Joe Biden signed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which includes $30.5 billion for the transit industry, as well as $1.7 billion for Amtrak. The act (H.R. 1319) passed in the House with a vote of 220 – 211. The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) said the legislation provides transit agencies critical emergency funding that will allow their services to continue to serve communities throughout the nation. 

 

The Executive Director of the agency, Michael Pimental, noted that public transit was badly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, facing unprecedented budget deficits caused by depressed ridership, reduced sales tax and fare revenues, and the high cost of implementing health and safety measures designed to keep our workers and riders safe. As seen in Los Angeles, all of this caused transit agencies to slash service, delay capital improvements and furlough employees at the start of the pandemic. “This funding is critical to a balanced and equitable economic recovery, to our quality of life and to achieving our state’s ambitious environmental goals,” he said.

 

Moreover, the LA Metro board of directors recently voted to spend millions of dollars to restore transit service that had been slashed throughout the pandemic. Because of it, the agency undertook different cost-saving measures, most notably cutting bus service by 20% in Sept. 2020, which riders spoke out against. As COVID spiked, Metro ridership reportedly declined from a high of 615,000 in Oct. to 475,000 in Dec., but it began rebounding in Jan.

 

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Neama Rahmani is the President and co-founder of West Coast Trial Lawyers.

Neama graduated from UCLA at the age of 19 and Harvard Law School at the age of 22, making him one of the youngest graduates in the 200-year history of the…

Neama Rahmani is the President and co-founder of West Coast Trial Lawyers.

Neama graduated from UCLA at the age of 19 and Harvard Law School at the age of 22, making him one of the youngest graduates in the 200-year history of the law school. Upon graduation, Neama was hired by O’Melveny & Myers, the largest law firm in Los Angeles, where he represented companies such as Disney, Marriott, and the Roman Catholic Church.

But Neama wanted to help ordinary people, not corporations, so he joined the United States Attorney’s Office, where he prosecuted drug and human trafficking cases along the United States-Mexico border. While working as a federal prosecutor, Neama captured and successfully prosecuted a fugitive murderer and drug kingpin who had terrorized Southern California and was featured on “America’s Most Wanted.” Neama was then appointed to be the Director of Enforcement of the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission, an independent watchdog that oversees and investigates the elected officials and highest level employees of the City of Los Angeles, including the Mayor and City Council. He held that position until becoming a trial lawyer for the people.

Neama has extensive trial experience. He has led teams of more than 170 attorneys in litigation against the largest companies in the world. Neama has successfully tried dozens of cases to verdict as lead trial counsel, and has argued before both state and federal appeals courts. Over the course of his career, Neama has handled thousands of cases as attorney of record and has helped his clients obtain more than $1 billion in settlements and judgments.