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


BART Prepares for a Gradual Reopening

This write-up may perhaps incorporate affiliate hyperlinks. This short article initially ran June 7, 2020, and has been updated with existing info.

All through the COVID-19 shutdown, public transportation ridership has plummeted, equally simply because workplaces are closed and simply because folks are worried to journey it. BART, the San Francisco Bay Area’s multi-county train procedure, normally carries some thing like 400,000 individuals a day in the course of the 7 days, and are however at a portion of that ridership. It has been starting up to creep back up, hitting 124,000 right before and right after the latest 4th of July weekend (about 30% of the former typical).

Pandemic signage

I know what it’s like because right before the shutdown, I rode BART every single working day into San Francisco from my suburban community.  There have been a lot of situations when we ended up pressed jointly so intently that our bodies ended up touching and our faces had been a foot apart. That’s surely not safe throughout a pandemic (or attractive whenever)! It’s in all probability a superior plan to frequently bear fast testing around me to make confident you are not likely to be spreading something when you experience.

I obtained a comprehensive electronic mail from BART a few times back outlining 15 factors (and just one new a person has been additional) they are accomplishing to prepare for the return of riders as organizations get started to reopen. I have summarized them listed here, but you can master a lot more on their internet site.

BART’s 15-Stage Approach

BART is:


  1. Disinfecting the trains and cleansing station touchpoints with clinic-quality disinfectant.
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  3. Running for a longer time trains to permit social distancing. They estimate 30 individuals to a teach is the limit.
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  5. Managing trains on a 30-moment weekday agenda and closing at 9 p.m., but they will keep track of it and raise frequency as demand from customers increases.
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  7. Transforming seat configurations on the new trains to produce much more room for social distancing.
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  9. Demanding confront masks at all situations for riders two and older. They will hold this requirement irrespective of changes in county mandates. Some absolutely free masks will be accessible at the station at 1st, and they are organizing to install vending devices.
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  11. Imposing the face mask plan with BART Police presence.
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  13. Putting up decals, posters and banners to notify riders of the new demands and adjustments.
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  15. Featuring hand sanitizer.
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  17. Encouraging the use of contactless Clipper Card payment and on line loading of funds to the playing cards. The Clipper Card technique is considerably superior than paper tickets, which the program was phasing out by now at the time of the outbreak.
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  19. Offering particular hand straps–free at to start with and later for sale.
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  21. Posting everyday ridership figures and coach motor vehicle loading facts at This is supposed to reassure riders with issues about crowding.
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  23. Exploring new technologies, such as ultraviolet disinfecting, and figuring out how to put into practice them securely and in a way that will not bring about harm.
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  25. Upgrading to Merv14 filters that clean up the air in each and every vehicle every single 70 seconds. 
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  27. Encouraging enterprises to present staggered function several hours to distribute out the commute. BART is also taking part in digital town halls to remedy queries.
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  29. Supplying its employees with particular defense machines (PPE) and supplying COVID-19 screening.
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  31. Applying time of reduced ridership to speed up infrastructure rebuilding projects.
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BART train&#13
BART’s looking to welcome people back again

I do not know when I will be using BART once again, but this sounds like a detailed list, which is reassuring. It will have to be carried out efficiently, of program, and around time, riders will return. If far more individuals come across themselves functioning from home a lot more often or forever that will aid address the crowding challenge for BART. Then it will continue being a gain/reduction issue, which has been an ongoing difficulty. We have to have our community transit methods, so I am hoping this can be solved.


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By Kelli