September 25, 2023

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Safety: Is Public Transit Safe Post-COVID-19?


BART Prepares for a Gradual Reopening

This report may well comprise affiliate links. This article initially ran June 7, 2020, and has been up-to-date with current information.

In the course of the COVID-19 shutdown, public transportation ridership has plummeted, both because offices are shut and for the reason that individuals are afraid to journey it. BART, the San Francisco Bay Area’s multi-county train procedure, typically carries one thing like 400,000 persons a day all through the week, and are however at a portion of that ridership. It has been beginning to creep back up, hitting 124,000 in advance of and just after the recent 4th of July weekend (about 30% of the former ordinary).

Pandemic signage

I know what it is like because before the shutdown, I rode BART each individual working day into San Francisco from my suburban group.  There have been numerous instances when we were being pressed alongside one another so carefully that our bodies were touching and our faces ended up a foot aside. Which is certainly not secure in the course of a pandemic (or fascinating anytime)! It’s most likely a excellent plan to on a regular basis bear swift screening in close proximity to me to make guaranteed you are not likely to be spreading something when you experience.

I acquired a in-depth e-mail from BART a couple times back outlining 15 matters (and one new just one has been extra) they are performing to get ready for the return of riders as corporations get started to reopen. I have summarized them in this article, but you can study far more on their web site.

BART’s 15-Move Strategy

BART is:


  1. Disinfecting the trains and cleaning station touchpoints with medical center-quality disinfectant.
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  3. Operating longer trains to enable social distancing. They estimate 30 men and women to a educate is the restrict.
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  5. Jogging trains on a 30-moment weekday agenda and closing at 9 p.m., but they will check it and enhance frequency as need improves.
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  7. Transforming seat configurations on the new trains to build far more place for social distancing.
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  9. Requiring deal with masks at all situations for riders two and more mature. They will keep this prerequisite no matter of changes in county mandates. Some free of charge masks will be out there at the station at 1st, and they are preparing to put in vending machines.
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  11. Implementing the face mask plan with BART Law enforcement presence.
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  13. Putting up decals, posters and banners to advise riders of the new needs and adjustments.
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  15. Offering hand sanitizer.
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  17. Encouraging the use of contactless Clipper Card payment and on-line loading of cash to the cards. The Clipper Card approach is substantially greater than paper tickets, which the program was phasing out currently at the time of the outbreak.
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  19. Featuring personalized hand straps–free at 1st and afterwards for sale.
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  21. Submitting everyday ridership quantities and educate auto loading facts at This is supposed to reassure riders with considerations about crowding.
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  23. Discovering new technologies, these types of as ultraviolet disinfecting, and figuring out how to put into action them securely and in a way that won’t bring about damage.
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  25. Upgrading to Merv14 filters that clear the air in every single auto every 70 seconds. 
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  27. Encouraging companies to provide staggered function hrs to spread out the commute. BART is also participating in virtual city halls to answer concerns.
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  29. Providing its employees with private security devices (PPE) and giving COVID-19 tests.
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  31. Using time of low ridership to speed up infrastructure rebuilding tasks.
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BART train&#13
BART’s seeking to welcome folks back

I do not know when I will be riding BART yet again, but this appears like a comprehensive checklist, which is reassuring. It will have to be carried out properly, of course, and around time, riders will return. If extra individuals find by themselves operating from home extra often or completely that will aid address the crowding situation for BART. Then it will keep on being a revenue/reduction difficulty, which has been an ongoing dilemma. We have to have our public transit systems, so I am hoping this can be solved.


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