95% of people obeying face mask rules on Metro - and why some are not
Passengers on the Tyne and Wear network were told in June they would have to cover up if they wanted to use public transport in the region.
And according to bosses just five per cent of commuters didn’t comply with the regulations, which in some cases may have been due to a medical exemption.
“The number of passengers wearing face masks was as high as 95% on Metro,” said Huw Lewis, Customer Services director at Metro operator Nexus.
“Even during the day the average was 88% at all times.
“We will never see 100% of people wearing face coverings, but this is an impressive figure and people using public transport are doing their best to make sure this is an environment they and others will safe and secure in when they travel.”
He added: “Our message is if you need public transport it is there, it is largely back to the frequency before lockdown and provides an environment you can feel safe using.”
Lewis was speaking at a meeting of the North East Joint Transport Committee’s Tyne and Wear Sub-Committee, which was held by videolink and broadcast via YouTube.
Government rules forcing travellers to wear face coverings on public transport came into effect from Monday, June 15.
This coincided with the reopening of some shops and other non-essential businesses, which was predicted to see an increase in the number of people using public transport.
At the height of lockdown Metro passengers fell by as much as 95%, with some predictions suggesting it may only recover to 80% of pre-pandemic levels.
Those who do not have to follow face covering rules can download a card to show to transport staff which details their exemption.
For those who do need to cover up, face masks have gone on sale at vending machines in Metro stations, with a pack of five available for £3.70.
Nexus has insisted it will not make a profit from the sale of masks.