SAN LEANDRO (KPIX 5) – Against the backdrop of talk of a possible holiday increase in COVID-19 cases, BART is taking steps to make passengers feel safe.
The agency also thinks that another increase in the number of riders may be around the corner, and they hope that the fears of COVID will not interfere with this.
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“You know, changing air every 70 seconds in a car is a best practice in the industry,” BART CEO Bob Powers said at a briefing Tuesday.
To take it a step further, BART has now upgraded its air filters, a step beyond what is considered best practices.
“As you can see, the design of the folds is much tighter,” engineer Charles Franz explained to KPIX 5, holding both the old and the new filter. “This is the old MERV-8 we replaced. The 8 captures only a small substance up to 3 microns. The new MERV-14, small up to 3/10 microns.”
Beyond the quality of the air filter, there is another reason why passengers may feel comfortable on trains now.
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“As long as you stay away from everyone and have your mask on all the time,” Mary said, getting off the BART train on Tuesday.
“It’s not as crowded as it used to be,” said Jiban Gurong. “Like before COVID, it was very crowded.”
The number of passengers on weekdays is about 25% of the pre-COVID levels, a number that was very appropriate for the slow return to office space in the Bay Area, and especially in San Francisco.
“Then it will take time to get back to the numbers before COVID,” Powers said.
Although BART can not do much about it, he expects more returns to the office in the coming months. The agency said it was standing by to lure drivers from what we see on highways and highways.
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“So when people come back in three days or four days, what they don’t do is that they travel on public transportation and don’t get in their car,” Powers said. “You saw traffic. Traffic is at pre-COVID levels right now, right? Fuel prices are going up.”