SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – As the Bay Area moves further into reopening, our transportation agencies are seeing more people returning for rides.
On Wednesday, BART released a 15 step plan to welcome back riders safely.
Cleaning is number one on the list. Not only has BART reassigned some employees to cleaning staff, they are now committing to disinfecting every train car, every night.
That cleaning process is called fogging, basically a spraying of hospital grade disinfectant.
BART general manager Bob Powers says staff is being trained on the new fogging machines and riders can expect every single car to be sterilized every night.
Deep cleanings like this usually happened every three days — now it will be every night.
The other main step in the welcome back plan is of course allowing for social distancing.
BART is only running 10 car trains every thirty minutes to make sure people have enough options to social distance from other riders.
As ridership increases, they will increase service hours as well.
Powers says a new seat configuration is in the works for the fleet of the future train cars as well.
“We’re going to pilot a configuration where all the seats are placed on the perimeter of the car and car is open throughout the middle,” explained General Manager Bob Powers. “This way we maximize the social distancing opportunities. This is something we can implement on all of our Fleet of the Future trains.”
Now with all that extra space in the middle of the cars, more people will be standing.
BART does have personal hand straps for sale that riders can purchase and bring with them — they can be purchased online or at the Lake Merritt customer service station.
Masks are required already if you’re riding any transit service and that will continue to be the new normal.
On a normal day pre-pandemic, BART had some 400,000 riders on its trains.
At their lowest point during this pandemic, they had about 24,000 riders, however, yesterday ridership numbers were up to more than 30,000.
“You can see how important BART is for people to get around and when its time to come back to public transportation, I just want people to know BART is taking every step available to make sure their ride is safe and reliable,” Powers said.
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