Not only vaccinations but free tacos were on tap recently as Richmond’s multimodal transit center — where BART, Amtrak/Capitol Corridor and AC Transit converge — reopened to the public.

Officials including Richmond Mayor Tom Butt and BART Director Lateefah Simon were on hand for the July 16 event. One of many similar events taking place in the Bay Area as the pandemic ebbs, the occasion celebrated a return to everyday life.

Prior to COVID-19, there were 8,000 boardings and de-boardings daily at this location, “making it the busiest place in Richmond,” Butt said.

“Transit schedules are returning to pre-COVID levels, and people are going back to work,” Butt added.

The tacos from Richmond’s popular El Garage also tell a tale of recovery. The Montano family started selling cheesy, red-tinted birria tacos out of its Richmond driveway in February 2019. Soon there were lines down the block and tens of thousands of followers on social media.

The pandemic foiled the family’s plans to open a restaurant storefront, but this month the dream finally came true (for takeout only) at 1428 Macdonald Avenue in Richmond, a few blocks from the Richmond BART station.