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Safety: Is Public Transit Safe Post-COVID-19?

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BART Prepares for a Gradual Reopening

This report may possibly include affiliate inbound links. This article initially ran June 7, 2020, and has been updated with present-day facts.

During the COVID-19 shutdown, general public transportation ridership has plummeted, each simply because workplaces are shut and since individuals are concerned to journey it. BART, the San Francisco Bay Area’s multi-county educate program, typically carries something like 400,000 men and women a day during the week, and are continue to at a portion of that ridership. It has been starting off to creep back again up, hitting 124,000 in advance of and following the recent 4th of July weekend (about 30% of the previous regular).

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Pandemic signage
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I know what it’s like since just before the shutdown, I rode BART each individual day into San Francisco from my suburban community.  There ended up quite a few times when we were pressed with each other so carefully that our bodies have been touching and our faces were being a foot apart. Which is unquestionably not secure for the duration of a pandemic (or attractive at any time)! It is almost certainly a excellent notion to routinely undertake immediate tests close to me to make positive you’re not likely to be spreading anything at all when you experience.

I acquired a comprehensive electronic mail from BART a couple times in the past outlining 15 matters (and one new 1 has been added) they are carrying out to get ready for the return of riders as enterprises start to reopen. I’ve summarized them here, but you can study a lot more on their website.

BART’s 15-Stage Approach

BART is:

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  1. Disinfecting the trains and cleansing station touchpoints with clinic-grade disinfectant.
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  3. Operating longer trains to allow social distancing. They estimate 30 folks to a train is the restrict.
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  5. Working trains on a 30-minute weekday routine and closing at 9 p.m., but they will keep an eye on it and boost frequency as demand boosts.
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  7. Modifying seat configurations on the new trains to generate a lot more room for social distancing.
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  9. Demanding face masks at all situations for riders two and older. They will hold this need irrespective of variations in county mandates. Some free masks will be out there at the station at first, and they are preparing to put in vending devices.
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  11. Imposing the encounter mask policy with BART Law enforcement existence.
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  13. Submitting decals, posters and banners to inform riders of the new demands and variations.
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  15. Providing hand sanitizer.
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  17. Encouraging the use of contactless Clipper Card payment and on-line loading of resources to the playing cards. The Clipper Card process is much greater than paper tickets, which the program was phasing out previously at the time of the outbreak.
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  19. Giving particular hand straps–free at first and afterwards for sale.
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  21. Posting daily ridership numbers and prepare car loading information at http://www.bart.gov/covid. This is supposed to reassure riders with fears about crowding.
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  23. Exploring new technologies, these types of as ultraviolet disinfecting, and figuring out how to put into action them properly and in a way that won’t result in harm.
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  25. Upgrading to Merv14 filters that thoroughly clean the air in each car each 70 seconds. 
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  27. Encouraging organizations to present staggered work several hours to spread out the commute. BART is also collaborating in digital city halls to response queries.
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  29. Giving its workers with personalized defense devices (PPE) and giving COVID-19 testing.
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  31. Working with time of reduced ridership to accelerate infrastructure rebuilding assignments.
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BART’s wanting to welcome people back
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I don’t know when I will be driving BART yet again, but this sounds like a thorough list, which is reassuring. It will have to be carried out successfully, of class, and in excess of time, riders will return. If extra folks locate themselves doing work from house extra generally or permanently that will enable address the crowding concern for BART. Then it will keep on being a gain/decline challenge, which has been an ongoing trouble. We will need our public transit systems, so I am hoping this can be solved.

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