Lester L. Barclay, Chairman of the Chicago Transit Board
Dorval R. Carter, Jr., President.
Chicago Transit Authority
567 W. Lake Street
Chicago, IL 60661
Re: Failure to Enforce Mask Mandate during Event
Per discussion with the members of the People’s Response Network (PRN) to Covid-19, to which I belong, I would like to express concerns regarding the apparent complete failure to enforce the mask mandate last weekend for the lakefront festival, Lollapalooza.
I presume that this situation may perhaps not be unique, but took place as well on Pace and Metra.
I am personally aware of the transit agency’s efforts since the onset of the pandemic to engage in “best practices” to ensure the safety of operating personnel and passengers, and applaud your efforts in this regard. I also appreciate the transit agency’s efforts to of maintain service at pre-pandemic levels, despite the obvious loss of fare box revenue.
While there are circumstances which can qualify as “unforeseen conditions,” I believe the agency could, however, have taken measures in advance to prohibit anyone without a mask from being a passenger this past weekend. Additional signage, announcements by Customer Assistants (CA) in stations, or assignment of security personnel at high traffic locations to hand out masks and request compliance, are just a few measures that come to mind.
I have personally witnessed instances of "self-enforcement" among passengers regarding the wearing of masks, and I believe you agree with me that these situations should be avoided. CTA personnel have on occasion acted to request compliance. These essential personnel are entitled by labor law and negotiated agreements to a safe workplace.
The transit professionals at CTA are experienced and capable of developing a plan to preclude a recurrence, and hope that this matter is given a priority by managers of the system.
Charles Paidock, Secretary
Citizens Taking Action for transit dependent riders
(312) 842-5035 office, (312) 714-7790 cell