A federal judge ruling from earlier this month that prompted New Jersey to scrap mask mandates on NJ Transit rail cars and buses barely gets majority support from Americans, according to a new poll.

Quinnipiac University survey results released on Wednesday finds that 54% of American adults believe that people should not be required to wear masks when riding buses, subways and trains. Just 51% of respondents feel people should not be required to wear masks on airplanes.

In the poll, 74% of Americans think that the spread of COVID-19 is under control in the United States.

"Americans may be sick of their masks, but they are not quite ready to trash them," said Tim Malloy, QU polling analyst. "Caution prevails as COVID lingers."

Without a mask requirement, 56% of poll respondents say they'd still wear a face covering on an airplane. Fifty-three percent would wear a mask when riding a public bus, subway or train. Overall, 65% would feel comfortable riding on buses, subways and trains without a mask requirement.

Malloy said there were noticeable disparities in responses based on political party affiliation and where an individual lives. For example, people who live in or around a major city are more inclined to prefer mask-wearing, compared to individuals who live in the suburbs.

"When it comes to wearing masks, Republicans are far more apt to say you don't need them and don't tell us to wear them. Democrats, less so," Malloy said.

On April 18, the Biden Administration announced that it would no longer be enforcing a mask mandate on public transportation, after a federal judge in Florida ruled that the requirement was unlawful. The next day, Gov. Phil Murphy announced the end of mask mandates on modes of transportation run by NJ Transit and the South Jersey Transportation Authority.

On April 20, the Justice Department filed a notice of appeal, looking to overturn the order.

Dino Flammia is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at dino.flammia@townsquaremedia.com

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