BART ridership has been plummeting amid concerns about COVID-19, declining by more than half its usual daily volume through Sunday, the transit agency said.
Weekday ridership hit a low on Friday of 184,605 — a 50 percent drop compared to 375,170 on an average Friday last month, BART officials said.
Over the weekend, the transit agency saw a 61 percent decline from its usual ridership numbers, with 58,187 passengers on Saturday and just 37,006 riders on Sunday.
Over the past two weeks, BART has seen a dramatic decline in riders, starting with a 5 percent drop on March 2.
On March 12, a 45 percent drop in ridership was tallied, with 231,820 riders compared to 417,531 on an average Thursday in February.
No coronavirus cases have been confirmed on BART thus far. BART has increased sanitation standards on all of its trains and stations.
On Friday, General Manager Bob Powers filmed a video showcasing a prototype of a personal hand strap that the agency is considering. Riders could take the straps home and clean them before use.
The transit district has made other efforts to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, recently equipping each station with at least one dispenser of hand sanitizer.
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. 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.
Despite the scaled-back ridership, BART plans to continue regular service and train lengths, because not everyone has the option of telecommuting to work, as many companies and municipalities have recommended, agency officials said.
In the coming days and weeks, BART officials plan to seek local, state and federal funding assistance to shore up the losses in fare revenue.
Readers can receive daily updates about BART ridership and how the coronavirus is affecting service by visiting the district’s website.
Reporter Eli Walsh contributed to this story.