Reopening CA: Masks still required on BART, passengers comply

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ByAmy Hollyfield KGO logo
Tuesday, June 15, 2021
Masks still required on BART, passengers comply
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BART passengers comply with the ongoing mask rule on public transit despite the state's mask requirements being lifted on Tuesday, June 15, 2021.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Some BART riders headed to their trains Tuesday didn't know what the ride would look like. The state has reopened and dropped mask mandates, yet masks are still required on public transportation.

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"I am not really sure what to expect," Jeremy Chatterton said at the Pleasant Hill station before boarding his train.

But as people reached their destinations, they said the ride didn't look that different.

"It's pretty much the same, same as yesterday," said Richmond resident Dorjey Tsewang.

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"People were wearing the masks, yeah," said Lynn Smith of Pacifica at the Embarcadero station.

"It was a little more crowded, everybody is heeding wearing masks," said Bryan Clegg of Concord.

BART officials said as of 8 a.m., there were 349 more people on the trains compared to Tuesday a week ago, a 2% increase.

BART police officers patrolling the Embarcadero station said they didn't see anyone without a mask. BART officials say they aren't too worried about enforcement.

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"Our latest data capture found 96% of the people were wearing masks," said Bart spokesperson Jim Allison. "For the very few who don't want to wear masks, they will be escorted off of the system. But that is very rare."

BART is still requiring masks because of a directive from the TSA saying masks should still be worn on public transit until at least September.

"The TSA provides direction for forms of transportation like airplanes and mass transit," Allison said. "So they decided for whatever reason- maybe because of the close confines many people find themselves in, particularly in airplanes- we should wear masks while traveling."

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Passengers we spoke with have no problem with the rule.

"I like it," said San Bruno resident Ed Lee. "I think it should be a required for a little bit longer, until we get a higher vaccination rate."

"I think it's good," said Alan Fritzler of Oakland. "It's a crowded space, not great ventilation. I think it's good keeping through September."

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