BART adds more trips, but will it subtract its mask mandate come June 15? Officials weigh in

ByLuz Pena and Amy Hollyfield KGO logo
Monday, June 7, 2021
CA mask mandate expires June 15; will BART still require them?
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On June 15, the state's mask mandate will be lifted. Now, what about inside public transit?

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- BART added more trains Monday in response to an increase in passengers.

Instead of being spaced 30 minutes apart, the new trains on the yellow, red and green lines will now mean a 15 minute wait between trains. In total there will be 26 more trips Monday through Friday, and 16 more trips on Saturdays.

Commuters say this will make a huge difference at the end of the work day.

"It will be perfect for me. Usually I get off work and have to wait 30 minutes. Sometimes I miss the train by a few seconds so it is very frustrating," said Walnut Creek resident Joaquin Moncada.

VIDEO: BART adds more trains as ridership ticks back up

BART added more trains Monday in response to an increase in passengers.

Many commuters had not heard the news and showed up for their regularly scheduled trains.

"Oh I didn't know that! That will be great. I use BART a lot. It would be nice to have more trains, especially with COVID still going on. I would be happy to see more trains so it would be less crowded," Walnut Creek resident Ana Pelegrini said Monday morning.

RELATED: BART reports highest ridership since start of pandemic, will add more trips

To lure people back to the trains and back to their routines, BART will be offering 50% off all fares on The Clipper Card for the month of September.

BART officials are hoping these changes help increase their numbers. Right now, up to 70,000 people are riding BART during weekdays. That's 17% of the pre-pandemic levels.

"These changes are actually going to allow us to double the number of 50 minute frequencies. We are actually putting these trips on the shoulders of our morning commutes and our evening commuters," said Duckworth.

The blue line from Dublin to Daly City will still see 30 minute frequencies through August.

BART still isn't back to regular hours. The trains will still run from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. 9 p.m. on the weekends. They will go back to being open until midnight August 30.

VIDEO: Here are the changes coming to Bay Area public transit

Here are the changes coming to cable cars, BART, SFMTA, muni, Samtrans, Caltrain, the ferry and more.

AC Transit is also making changes. The bus line will now require passengers to stay 3 feet apart instead of six.

"I am glad everyone is feeling more comfortable. Everyone just needs to be careful and friendly with each other, it'll be fine," Walnut Creek resident Inka Lawrence said while waiting for a BART train.

"Just a few months ago I remember the trains being empty. Now it is difficult to find a seat, I do notice more people," Moncada said.

On June 15, the state's mask mandate will be lifted. Now, what about inside public transit?

"The mask mandate will actually still be in place on BART after the June 15 lifting of the restrictions. That is because the TSA has a mask mandate for transit nationwide that doesn't expire until September 13," said Duckworth.

Starting August 30, Bart is planning to return to pre-pandemic service levels and extending service hours from 9 p.m. to midnight closures.

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