BART updates related to the coronavirus (COVID-19)

We are in unchartered times here in the Bay Area. We at BARTable usually show you all the fun and exciting events around our stations, but know that now isn't the time and that many of our BARTable partners have been impacted by postponing or cancelling events, closing their doors for the foreseeable future, and even altering their business models as part of a series of measures to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
 
As part of the Bay Area, we wanted to share with you what BART is doing to help try and reduce the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). 
 
This page is being continuously updated below. 

Response and prevention efforts

BART staff is taking necessary action to prepare for the potential spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). We monitor coronavirus developments on a daily basis and receive frequent updates from local, state, and federal public health agencies and local jurisdictions.
 
BART, along with all other transit systems, is taking guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, and public health departments. These experts advise us that operational changes are not necessary at this time. However, we stand ready to make changes if the situation changes. 
The District has taken the following preparedness actions:
  • Station Cleaning: We are wiping down hand-contact surfaces with hospital-grade disinfectant more frequently each day. As of March 11, we also will add hand sanitizers each station.  All 48 stations will have at least one dispenser mounted in the paid area of the station.
  • Train Car Cleaning: We are wiping down handrails and stanchion with germicidal wipes at end-of-line stations. We continue our regular car cleaning, responding immediately to urgent messes and biohazards, and the scheduled “thorough clean” disinfecting process, including BART to Antioch cars.  As the coronavirus spreads into our communities we want our riders to know that BART is a safe way to travel and that if riders practice good hygiene it will help provided safeguards in between our stepped-up cleaning cycles.
  • Customer Communication:  Multi-lingual posters provided by public health officials with tips about protecting against the flu and coronavirus are being displayed in stations for public view.  The following message has been programed to run on the plaform digital signs and was sent out in a service advisory via email, text, and Twitter: BART is working to prevent the spread of coronavirus by wiping down hand-contact surfaces with hospital-grade disinfectant more frequently each day. Please cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. Thank You.
  • Employee Communication: Good personal hygiene posters have been distributed and posted at employee work locations. Staff has been provided self-quarantine guidance for employees who have recently traveled to a Level 3 Travel Health Notice Countries. BART employees are being kept up to date on personal hygiene and preventive measures recommended by the CDC. This includes how CDC does not currently recommend the use of face masks for those who are not sick.  Procurement has ensured current inventories of PPE such as disinfectants, hand sanitizers, face masks for positions that require them, and hand wipes are currently adequately stocked in our warehouses. BART staff has formed an internal task force that is meeting regularly and is dialed into the updates and recommendations coming from local, state, and federal public health officials. We’ve developed an emergency response plan and contingencies if the situation escalates.
  • Procurement Activity: Staff has ensured current inventories of PPE such as disinfectants, hand sanitizers, face masks for positions that require them, and hand wipes are currently adequately stocked in our warehouses. Hand sanitizer dispensers have already been distributed to many work locations and will continue to be delivered to all locations.
  • Get accurate information about the coronavirus (COVID-19) and prevention here

Prevention tips

Current prevention tips include:
  • Stay home when you are sick. 
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including the coronavirus (COVID-19).
  • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of the coronavirus (COVID-19) to help prevent the spread of the disease to others.  

BART to temporarily reduce service hours beginning March 23, 2020 

BART is taking swift action to reduce operating costs as ridership levels have declined by 90% as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and shelter in place orders.  BART has done an exhaustive review of ridership and train car loads this week and will make the following changes to service until further notice:

Starting Monday, March 23, 2020, BART will provide service Monday-Friday from 5am-9pm (currently service is 5am-midnight). Current weekday train frequency will remain.

Starting Saturday March 28, 2020, Saturday and Sunday service will be from 8am-9pm (currently Saturday service is 6am-midnight and Sunday is 8am-midnight). Current weekend train frequency will remain.

All riders must be in the system by 8:45pm to have a guaranteed ride to their destination.

BART will monitor ridership data each day to determine how long these service hours will be in effect. For more information on this development, please click here

Service during Bay Area shelter in place order

BART will continue to provide service for riders performing essential activities and for riders travelling to and from “essential business” work, with long enough trains to allow for social distancing. Based on ridership levels last week and over the weekend, social distancing is happening on BART. For the week of March 9, BART served 24%-61% fewer riders depending on the day of the week. There is enough space for riders to remain six feet from each other. Increased cleaning and disinfecting are continuing in stations and trains.
 
The order provides the following guidelines specific to transit:
  • BART, along with other essential businesses, are “strongly encouraged to remain open.”
  • To the greatest extent feasible, BART should allow for social distancing of at least six feet from any other person including, but not limited to, when any customers are standing in line.
  • People must use public transit only for purposes of performing essential activities or to travel to and from work to operate essential businesses or maintain essential governmental functions and essential infrastructure operations and maintenance. People riding on public transit must comply with social distancing requirements, to the greatest extent feasible. The shelter in place order defines each of those categories.
Essential travel also includes travel:
  • to obtain necessary services or supplies for themselves and their family or household members.
  • to engage in activities or perform tasks essential to their health and safety, or to the health and safety of their family or household members.
  • to care for elderly, minors, dependents, persons with disabilities, or other vulnerable persons.
  • to or from educational institutions for purposes of receiving materials for distance learning, for receiving meals, and any other related services.
  • to return to a place of residence from outside the jurisdiction.
  • required by law enforcement or court order.
  • required for non-residents to return to their place of residence outside the County.
BART staff and frontline workers continue to deliver safe BART service. BART staff is being provided the tools they need to perform their job safely including hand sanitizer, germicidal wipes, face masks for positions that require them, and other personal protective equipment. We offer an Employee Assistance Program with resources that can assist with child/elder care referrals, financial consultation and counseling with a licensed mental health clinician.
 
If you are sick, we ask you not to ride BART. If your travel isn't essential, we ask that you follow the order and not ride BART.
 
The trains must continue to run to ensure lifeline service to those workers who will keep the region functioning during these trying times. For continuous updates, including updates on ridership numbers, please click here
 
From our BARTable team, please stay safe and healthy! We look forward to bringing you some fun virtual content soon! 

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