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.
  • Maintain physical distancing, at least six feet apart, from others. 
  • NEW: CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where physical distancing is difficult to maintain. More info on this can be found here.

Face coverings now required for BART riders

 
County health orders in Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco, and San Mateo now require all riders to wear face coverings inside BART stations and on-board trains. The orders also require BART to take reasonable measures to remind the public that they need facing coverings and “must take all reasonable steps to prohibit any member of the public who is not wearing a face covering from entering and must not serve that person if those efforts are unsuccessful and seek to remove that person.” Failure to comply with the emergency health order is a misdemeanor. Enforcement begins Wednesday, April 22, 2020. More information on how BART will comply with the new order can be found here

BART to run every 30 minutes Monday-Friday

As the Bay Area counties have now extended mandatory shelter in place orders, BART service needs to be reduced to match demand, increase essential rebuilding projects, save costs, and maintain reliable service based on staffing levels. Starting Wednesday, April 8, Monday-Friday service will run every 30 minutes until further notice. Ridership data shows social distancing remains possible on all trains with this change.  Effectively, every other train is being cancelled Monday-Friday. Weekend service will remain unchanged. 

Reducing service also allows greater flexibility to maintain stable service should BART employees need to take time off due to illness or to care for children and family members.   

This move will potentially save the operating budget $3-$7 million per month. The savings is realized by shifting employees to capital improvement projects that are not funded by the operating budget. BART is using this time of historically low ridership to focus on essential infrastructure projects that typically are very disruptive to riders or can only be accomplished during overnight hours. These rebuilding efforts have been designated as essential public works projects per the region’s public health orders issued in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Three line service will start earlier in the evening

Starting Wednesday, BART will move up the time the Warm Springs-Daly City (Green) and Richmond-Millbrae (Red) lines that provide direct service to/from San Francisco end and 3-line service begins.  This will allow for a longer work window for power cable replacement in San Francisco. The last two train dispatches in both directions on these lines will be cancelled and single tracking in San Francisco will begin around 8pm.

  • The last Warm Springs-Daly City (Green) line train departs Warm Springs at 5:16pm and arrives at Daly City at 6:26pm.  It then departs Daly City at 6:43pm and arrives at Warm Springs at 7:54pm.
  • The last Richmond-Millbrae (Red) line train departs Richmond at 5:41pm and arrives at Millbrae 6:51pm. It then departs at Millbrae at 7:18pm and arrives at Richmond at 8:24pm.

There is only one hole in the new 30-minute schedule. It is on the Red ine departing from Millbrae at 6:18pm. To avoid this gap, customers should board the SFO shuttle from Millbrae at 6pm and connect with the Antioch line train at SFO at 6:26pm and then transfer at MacArthur at 7:10pm to the Richmond train.

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.

Early Bird Express service changes starting Monday, April 27, 2020

Beginning Monday, April 27, 2020, service on all 13 Early Bird Express (EBX) bus routes will be reduced or discontinued until further notice due to decreased ridership during shelter-in-place orders. In mid-March, the network carried roughly 1,000 riders per day. Today, that number has dropped to between 100 and 150 riders, an 85-90% decline in ridership.
 
Since the shelter-in-place order was established, BART and its seven partnering bus agencies have been working to monitor ridership trends, evaluate potential service options, and craft a data-driven service plan. EBX service needs to be reduced to match demand, save costs and support our transit partners in maintaining reliable service based on staffing levels. Partner bus agencies have also indicated that EBX service reductions are needed to free up their overall service capacity to sustain their core routes.
 
The following routes will continue running with the number of daily trips reduced:
  • 701 (Pittsburg/Bay Point Station to Salesforce Transit Center)
  • 702 (Pleasant Hill Station to Salesforce Transit Center)
  • 704 (El Cerrito Del Norte Station to Salesforce Transit Center)
  • 705 (MacArthur Station to Salesforce Transit Center via 19th St./Oakland Station
  • 706 (Bay Fair Station to Salesforce Transit Center via Fruitvale Station)
  • 713 (Salesforce Transit Center to San Francisco International Airport Station)
  • 714 (Salesforce Transit Center to Daly City Station)
The following routes will be discontinued:
  • 703 (Dublin/Pleasanton Station to Salesforce Transit Center)
  • 707 (Fremont Station to Salesforce Transit Center)
  • 708 (El Cerrito Del Norte Station to 19th St./Oakland Station)
  • 709 (Antioch Station to Pittsburg/Bay Point Station)
  • 712 (Pittsburg/Bay Point Station to 19th St./Oakland Station)
  • 715 (North Concord Station to Pleasant Hill Station)

Previously announced service changes

  • Monday-Friday service is 5am-9pm (previously 5am-Midnight) began on Monday, March 23.
  • Saturday-Sunday service is 8am-9pm (previously Saturday service started at 6am) began on Saturday, March 28.

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. 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 hope you check out our #virtuallyBARTable content at bart.gov/bartable. 

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