URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) – Public transportation riders may be free to go maskless next week. The federal mask requirement is set to expire on April 18. But, it was also set to expire last month before it was extended.

In Champaign-Urbana, MTD’s Chief of Staff Amy Snyder said mask fatigue is real. Many people are ready to shed them while traveling.

“It would be a welcomed shift to take a break from the masks hopefully for a very long time. But if COVID has taught us anything, it’s there are no guarantees,” Snyder said.

If the mandate expires Monday, travelers won’t need them anymore on planes, trains and buses across the country. But, the Biden administration is considering extending the mask mandate. Local transportation systems are just waiting for an answer.

“We at MTD are waiting just like all these other public conveyances are to find out if it will be lifted. I’ve heard rumors both ways. In the meantime, we’re just going to continue business as usual,” Snyder said.

She said MTD has given out thousands of masks to riders who forget. They’ll still be available if the mandate is extended.

If the mandate is lifted, she said riders may still opt to wear masks. But, they might not be able to continue providing them on buses.