As part of its continuing efforts to promote a healthy travel environment, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) began 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.
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.
Overall, 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.