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BART service dwindles during Bay Area shutdown

Plummeting ridership forces transit agency to slash service

A commuter wears respiratory masks while heading into the Montgomery Street BART station.
Photo by Ray Chavez/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty Images

After ridership dropped a jarring 93 percent following the Bay Area shelter-in-place order, BART will once again eliminate weekday service.

Starting Wednesday, service will run every 30 minutes systemwide all day Monday through Friday, “with 3-line service beginning earlier in the evening and single tracking in San Francisco starting at around 8 p.m.,” said BART.

Weekend service will remain unchanged.

Fewer trains during the weekdays means that crews can work on other maintenance projects, like the longstanding cable replacement.

BART Board Director Janice Li says that this will also make train operators feel like their jobs aren’t in danger if they need to take time off.

“[W]e want them to feel comfortable to say ‘I can stay at home today’,” Li told KCBS Radio. “And I think being able to modify the schedule means that we can be certain that we can sustain the level of service.”

The reduction in service will last as long as the shelter-in-place orders remain in effect.

The global pandemic could lead to a budget shortfall of roughly $450 million in the fiscal year 2021, which, according to BART, “won’t be covered by the $1.3 billion in federal stimulus money that has to be shared across the Bay Area.”

Be sure to check BART’s schedules if you absolutely need to travel via public transit.

This news comes on the heels of Muni reducing its service to 17 this week. Starting Wednesday, only the following Muni will run: N-Judah (bus), L-Taraval (bus), T-Third (bus), 1-California, 8-Bayshore, 9-San Bruno, 14R-Mission, 19-Polk, 22-Fillmore, 24-Divisadero, 25-Treasure Island, 29-Sunset, 38 and 38R-Geary, 44-O’Shaughnessy and 49-Van Ness/Mission.