By Rick Sallinger

DENVER (CBS4) – A federal mandate requires that masks be worn on public transportation, but the law is being widely ignored on RTD buses and train. On Thursday, CBS4 found there is little to no enforcement.

On the airport train, each car on the commuter rail is clearly marked that face coverings are required. If a rider misses that, there’s also an announcement over the speaker.

(credit: CBS)

“For your safety and that of others on board, facial coverings are required on RTD services,” the message states.

When CBS4’s Rick Sallinger surveyed the trains, there were plenty of people without masks.

“Are masks required on trains?” Sallinger asked the RTD employee checking tickets.

“RTD policy is you have to have to have one,” the man replied.

As far as we could tell, the employee wasn’t going to ask riders without a mask to put one on or get off.

Sallinger asked one man without a mask, “Did the guy taking the tickets say you had to have a mask?”

“No,” the man replied.

(credit: CBS)

Sure some people had masks on, but most did not.

“Are you going to wear a mask? CBS4 asked one man boarding the train.

“No, I don’t fear COVID,” he replied.

(credit: CBS)

On the light rail it was pretty much the same, a lot of riders without masks.

“Our officers should make sure and remind people they should put the masks on,” said Pauletta Tonilas, RTD spokesperson.

The federal requirement is the same for wearing masks on buses. But there too, no mask, no problem.

“Airlines kick people off of planes why can’t you do the same?” Sallinger asked Tonilas.

(credit: CBS)

“We are not going to put our operators in position of being enforcers,” she explained.

RTD says it cannot ticket for mask violations because it involves a federal law. The agency hands out masks to those who don’t have them when they are available, adding that it is also the personal responsibility of the individual to wear one.

Rick Sallinger