SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – Riding BART is looking more and more attractive these days with gas prices skyrocketing.
In fact, between that and the return to the office, BART has been seeing a steady increase in riders both on weekdays and on Saturdays and Sundays.
“Our weekends are recovering at a far faster rate than weekdays. Weekend ridership is at 50% of pre-pandemic. Weekdays are at 28 to 30% still,” spokesperson Alicia Trost said.
At the moment, masks are still required on public transit due to COVID concerns, but those riding in and out of the Lafayette station Tuesday weren’t worried about their health.
“I’m totally vaccinated and everyone on the train was masked up, per requirement very proud of the American public to see that,” one rider said.
“The last time I took it I was the only person on the entire half a train, I was on so I wasn’t worried at all,” another said.
Some doctors believe public transit is perfectly safe because of the ventilation provided.
“If you have four to six air exchanges per minute that virus can’t stay around, and public transit even subways have higher air circulation than that. You know when the subway stops and you hear that noise? That’s ventilation,” Dr. Monica Gandhi said.
But others remain a bit more cautious, suggesting while greatly improved, California COVID transmission is still happening, so wearing a well-fitting N95 or Kn95 mask is critical.
They also point out those most at risk might consider avoiding public transit for now.
“For example, someone my age is at much greater risk than someone half my age so that would be a big factor to consider do you have diabetes, obesity chronic lung or heart disease. Those are risk factors that can make an infection much worse for you,” Dr. John Swartzberg said.
Doctors point out each individual must assess their own risk, with everything, and then make a decision, and they point out that still, the best protection is the vaccine.