Coronavirus: BART to seek emergency funds after ridership down 30%

Leaders at BART will seek emergency funds from various government agencies to make up for a steep drop in revenue, which they say is a direct result of coronavirus fears.

BART ridership this week has gone down by 30 percent from an average Tuesday last month of 415,760 riders to 292,011 this past Tuesday. That's a loss of about $600,000 every weekday. 

Many people are afraid of getting onto crowded trains as the global pandemic spreads, and many employees are being told to work at home. 

And so, BART's general manager will be reaching out to local, state and federal leaders to find out what sort of emergency funds might be available to them, officials said on Thursday. 

A worker disinfects a BART station platform.

With less crowded trains, BART is also encouraging riders to maintain a distance from one another, per public health guidelines, to prevent the spread of the virus, also known as COVID-19. An arm's-length of space is recommended.

In addition to the agency's recommendations for riders, BART has also stepped up cleaning and disinfecting on trains and in stations. BART said starting Wednesday night, each station will be equipped with at least one dispenser of hand sanitizer.

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Allie Rasmus is a reporter forKTVU.  Email Allie at and follow her on Twitter@arasmusKTVU