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

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

BART Prepares for a Gradual Reopening

This posting may well include affiliate hyperlinks. This post initially ran June 7, 2020, and has been up-to-date with recent info.

Throughout the COVID-19 shutdown, community transportation ridership has plummeted, both due to the fact offices are shut and due to the fact people are afraid to ride it. BART, the San Francisco Bay Area’s multi-county practice system, normally carries something like 400,000 people a working day through the week, and are nonetheless at a fraction of that ridership. It has been beginning to creep again up, hitting 124,000 just before and following the current 4th of July weekend (about 30% of the former ordinary).

Safety: Is Public Transit Safe Post-COVID-19?&#13
Pandemic signage

I know what it’s like since in advance of the shutdown, I rode BART each and every working day into San Francisco from my suburban neighborhood.  There have been lots of situations when we ended up pressed jointly so closely that our bodies have been touching and our faces were a foot apart. That’s certainly not safe and sound during a pandemic (or desirable anytime)! It is possibly a excellent concept to regularly endure rapid screening in close proximity to me to make positive you are not likely to be spreading nearly anything when you experience.

I gained a in depth e-mail from BART a handful of days back outlining 15 issues (and a single new just one has been included) they are undertaking to get ready for the return of riders as businesses start to reopen. I have summarized them listed here, but you can discover much more on their internet site.

BART’s 15-Action Program

BART is:


  1. Disinfecting the trains and cleansing station touchpoints with hospital-grade disinfectant.
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  3. Working more time trains to permit social distancing. They estimate 30 individuals to a coach is the limit.
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  5. Working trains on a 30-minute weekday agenda and closing at 9 p.m., but they will watch it and increase frequency as demand increases.
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  7. Altering seat configurations on the new trains to build extra house for social distancing.
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  9. Requiring confront masks at all periods for riders two and older. They will hold this requirement no matter of modifications in county mandates. Some cost-free masks will be obtainable at the station at very first, and they are arranging to put in vending devices.
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  11. Implementing the experience mask policy with BART Law enforcement presence.
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  13. Submitting decals, posters and banners to tell riders of the new necessities and changes.
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  15. Featuring hand sanitizer.
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  17. Encouraging the use of contactless Clipper Card payment and online loading of resources to the playing cards. The Clipper Card method is considerably greater than paper tickets, which the technique was phasing out previously at the time of the outbreak.
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  19. Supplying individual hand straps–free at initially and afterwards for sale.
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  21. Putting up each day ridership numbers and coach car loading facts at http://www.bart.gov/covid. This is supposed to reassure riders with issues about crowding.
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  23. Exploring new systems, such as ultraviolet disinfecting, and figuring out how to put into practice them safely and securely and in a way that will not result in injury.
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  25. Upgrading to Merv14 filters that clean up the air in each individual automobile every 70 seconds. 
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  27. Encouraging firms to offer staggered perform hours to distribute out the commute. BART is also participating in digital city halls to solution questions.
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  29. Supplying its personnel with particular security tools (PPE) and offering COVID-19 screening.
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  31. Making use of time of reduced ridership to accelerate infrastructure rebuilding assignments.
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BART train&#13
BART’s on the lookout to welcome folks back again

I really do not know when I will be using BART all over again, but this sounds like a extensive list, which is reassuring. It will have to be carried out correctly, of course, and about time, riders will return. If a lot more persons locate them selves performing from property far more typically or completely that will aid resolve the crowding situation for BART. Then it will continue being a revenue/decline problem, which has been an ongoing challenge. We want our general public transit methods, so I am hoping this can be solved.