BART "Rides Out" Virus Pain, Hopes For Future Ridership Gain

Jeffrey Schaub
May 28, 2020 - 4:00 am

    Related: BART Gives Opening Date For Long Awaited South Bay Stations

    How long will it take BART ridership to get back to normal?

    Could it be months? Years?

    That's exactly what the Bay Area's public rail agency is trying to anticipate and make sure they have enough resources to ride it out.

    BART’s current ridership is about 10% of what it was in mid-March.

    BART General Manager Bob Powers believes to get riders back, he thinks of it as a three legged stool, led by the creation of a COVID-19 vaccine that will give people a sense of confidence that its ok to commute by public rail again.

    "If you don’t have a job to go back to you’re not gonna be riding the system," Powers said. "So when the economy comes back on, the GDP starts to come around, you know, thats the other leg of the stool."

    The third leg?

    "A lot of people have been working from home for two-plus months quite successfully and businesses have seen that and so we are going to work with the major employers in the region on what are their thoughts, what are they thinking?" Powers said.

    Powers says to get it through the tough times, the system may need to rely on federal assistance..possibly through 2023.