July 18, 2024

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


BART Prepares for a Gradual Reopening

This article may well consist of affiliate links. This report originally ran June 7, 2020, and has been up-to-date with latest facts.

During the COVID-19 shutdown, public transportation ridership has plummeted, each due to the fact places of work are shut and because persons are concerned to journey it. BART, the San Francisco Bay Area’s multi-county teach system, generally carries a little something like 400,000 people a day through the 7 days, and are continue to at a fraction of that ridership. It has been setting up to creep back again up, hitting 124,000 in advance of and after the current 4th of July weekend (about 30% of the former normal).

Pandemic signage

I know what it’s like because before the shutdown, I rode BART just about every day into San Francisco from my suburban neighborhood.  There were lots of moments when we have been pressed collectively so closely that our bodies have been touching and our faces were being a foot apart. That’s undoubtedly not safe throughout a pandemic (or fascinating whenever)! It’s almost certainly a great plan to regularly test on swift screening in the vicinity of me to make sure you are not going to be spreading everything when you trip.

I acquired a comprehensive e mail from BART a couple of times in the past outlining 15 things (and 1 new one has been added) they are performing to get ready for the return of riders as enterprises start off to reopen. I’ve summarized them listed here, but you can master a lot more on their web page.

BART’s 15-Move Plan

BART is:


  1. Disinfecting the trains and cleaning station touchpoints with healthcare facility-quality disinfectant.
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  3. Operating lengthier trains to enable social distancing. They estimate 30 people to a prepare is the restrict.
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  5. Functioning trains on a 30-moment weekday agenda and closing at 9 p.m., but they will check it and maximize frequency as desire raises.
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  7. Changing seat configurations on the new trains to develop much more room for social distancing.
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  9. Necessitating deal with masks at all times for riders two and older. They will preserve this need no matter of variations in county mandates. Some free masks will be obtainable at the station at to start with, and they are planning to put in vending devices.
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  11. Enforcing the confront mask plan with BART Law enforcement presence.
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  13. Publishing decals, posters and banners to advise riders of the new necessities and variations.
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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 cash to the playing cards. The Clipper Card process is considerably much better than paper tickets, which the technique was phasing out now at the time of the outbreak.
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  19. Offering particular hand straps–free at very first and later for sale.
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  21. Putting up day by day ridership figures and prepare auto loading details at http://www.bart.gov/covid. This is intended to reassure riders with problems about crowding.
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  23. Discovering new systems, this sort of as ultraviolet disinfecting, and figuring out how to implement them safely and securely and in a way that won’t bring about harm.
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  25. Upgrading to Merv14 filters that clear the air in each individual automobile every single 70 seconds. 
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  27. Encouraging businesses to offer you staggered do the job hours to unfold out the commute. BART is also taking part in digital town halls to response thoughts.
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  29. Supplying its workers with own protection products (PPE) and supplying COVID-19 testing.
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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 on the lookout to welcome folks back again

I never know when I will be riding BART once more, but this seems like a comprehensive record, which is reassuring. It will have to be carried out successfully, of class, and over time, riders will return. If additional folks obtain on their own functioning from residence much more generally or completely that will support remedy the crowding issue for BART. Then it will keep on being a gain/reduction difficulty, which has been an ongoing problem. We have to have our general public transit units, so I am hoping this can be solved.


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