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GRT to start giving riders free face masks

All riders, except children under the age of five and people with medical reasons, are required to wear a mask when riding Grand River public transit
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Stock photo.

Grand River Transit will start distributing tens of thousands of masks starting Monday.

The Region of Waterloo's CAO, Mike Murray, says they want to make sure that the mask requirement doesn't become a barrier to use transit.

"We want to make it as easy as possible for our customers to wear masks on transit. One of the ways we can do that is remove any barriers to access the masks. So that was the thinking behind us and the mask giveaway on transit."

He says it's important to note that many people are already wearing masks on public transit.

"Lots of people have their own masks. Lots of people are bringing their own. Hopefully not everyone needs or wants a free mask from the region. So we will just have to see how far it goes."

Regional Chair Karen Redman says of the 40-thousand masks, half are reusable and half and single-use masks.

"So we're hoping it will empower people who are regular transit users to reuse at least the 20,000 masks that are being handed out. And we recognize that as ridership goes up on public transit, it may make physically distancing more challenging and so this is something we can provide the ridership with to help protect them."

All riders, except children under the age of five and people with medical reasons, are required to wear a mask when riding Grand River public transit.

The masks will be given out at select locations, at select times, over the next week.

CLICK HERE to see a list of when and where.

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