Two weeks ago, Gov. Phil Murphy announced face masks are no longer required in public transportation after a federal judge eliminated the mask mandate. For some Montclair State University students who have access to a car, the new regulation may not make a difference, but other students who rely on public transportation are concerned.
Charlotte Molter, a junior animation/illustration major, is one of the many students who rely on public transportation and shared how she feels about the new rule.
“I feel it’s a little hasty,” Molter said. “Some transportation, you’re not even there for that long and it’s very [close quarters] with a lot of people. And at this point where we are in the pandemic, it’s not uncommon to hear people still getting [coronavirus (COVID-19)] so it’s weird to make that cut back now. I believe this decision will increase the cases since people have to use transportation all of the time.”
Given that she now has the full freedom to unmask on transportation, Molter also said she stands by her decision of leaving her mask on, no matter where she is.
Jourdin Lowe, a sophomore exercise science major, also relies on public transportation to travel back and forth between home and school monthly. Despite the new changes, she will continue to use a face covering.
“Going back to the norm already has been crazy to think about because I’m used to wearing a mask,” Lowe said. “So, not having to wear one will not be favorable to me. Cases will definitely rise.”
Rabiya Rickard, a senior communication and media arts major, does not support the new rule.
“They are moving fast by allowing masks to be off, especially in places where people are jam-packed together like the bus,” Rickard said.
Another student who is against the new regulation is George Agyen, a junior economics major. He said masks should still be mandatory and that it is still important to follow safety precautions.
“I feel that masks should still be worn,” Agyen said. “Cases will honestly go up. I wouldn’t mind taking my mask off if there are less people on public transportation that I’m on. If there are large crowds of people getting on public transportation then I will simply keep mine on.”