ORINDA, Calif. (KRON) — Masks will no longer be required on BART after Oct. 1. However, riders are still required to wear their masks from now until then.

The BART Board of Directors met Thursday night and a decision was made to end a mask requirement after that date. BART said that can change if a local health officer reinstates an indoor mask mandate for their respective county.

As of now, the five counties BART serves (Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara) do not have indoor mask mandates.

The BART board has extended the mandate this year at least twice: in April, the board decided to extend it till mid-July. Then, right before that was set to expire, the agency decided to continue it till Oct. 1.

Many are hoping the masks go away, but there are thousands, including a local senior group, who are hoping BART continues with masks.

Ben Galay, a BART rider, is one of those who thinks the mask mandate should continue.

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“I work in the medical field so I see what happens in the hospitals with a lot of sick people coming in, so I think it’s a good idea to still have it, especially with flu season coming up too,” Galay said. “It helps.”

Thursday’s BART board meeting will be the first meeting open to members of the public since prior to the pandemic, according to a post on BART’s website. In addition to discussing the mask mandate, other items on the agenda for Thursday’s meeting include:

  • An update on rebuilding work happening on the Yellow Line between Pleasant Hill and Concord following the partial derailment of a train in June
  • An overview of BART PD’s public safety plan including an update on evening deployment
  • Proposed revisions to the BART System Development Policy that will be used to guide future investments
  • A presentation on how BART prioritized multiple capital projects including how the agency determines what to seek funding for
  • An update on regional efforts to improve wayfinding signage to make transit easier to access for all

Members of the public who are unable to attend the meeting in person can still provide public comment via Zoom.