OAKLAND, Calif. - BART is helping riders feel more comfortable getting on trains during the coronavirus pandemic by giving them an idea of how crowded each train is.
As part of BART's "welcome back" plan, they’ll share crowding charts every week that shows the average number of riders on each car.
The color-coded charts are broken down by lines, stations and time of day. Teal is zero to 24 riders; lime green is 25 to 30; and yellow is more than 31.
After looking through all the charts for the week of June 29 to July 3, the majority landed in the teal zone.
“The idea here is taking the data we have and putting it in a way that anyone can understand and use as a tool to plan their trip,” said BART Spokesperson Alicia Trost.
The chart data isn’t in real time and based on fare gate information. The charts are also created assumed passengers are evenly spread out through all the cars. Trost said more people typically ride the middle cars, so the front and rear cars are less crowded, “If you’re on a train and it just seems really crowded and the data we’re sharing shows that it shouldn’t be that crowded, the reason why is because people aren’t spreading out.
If there’s an increase in ridership down the line, BART shaped its budget to have a plan for that, “We have the operators in place and the trains ready to go to add more trains, but we also have to be careful. We can’t add them all at once, we have a dire financial situation that’s why we have to match ridership with the demand,” said Trost.
As of Wednesday, BART is selling personal hand straps so riders don’t have to touch the existing straps on the trains. They cost $5 each and you can find them on RailGoods.com.