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Public transportation ridership declines due to shelter in place order

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SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – As Bay Area residents adjust to life under Monday’s shelter in place order, one aspect that remains relatively unchanged is public transit. 

Deemed an essential service, BART and Muni are still operational, though taking a ride might seem a little bit different.

On a typical weekday afternoon, BART platforms and trains alike are buzzing with commuters and while most cars did have at least a couple passengers on Tuesday, ridership has already dropped significantly.

BART passenger Thomas Heavy says, “It’s dead, there’s no activity, everything’s closed, it’s amazing. I’ve been here 20 years, and this is the first time anything like this has happened.”

Muni was noticeably less crowded as well.

Though the SFMTA doesn’t have real-time access to ridership numbers, Clipper and fare gate tag data tell a trending tale.

Average weekday ridership was down 16 percent the first week of the month, and dropped by 30 percent last week, compared with typical totals in the month of March.

BART trains are running on a regular schedule, with longer cars to allow for proper social distancing, and muni metro rail service is on a normal schedule as well.

Muni bus schedules were temporarily reduced beginning on Tuesday, so make sure to check those schedules before you ride.

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