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BART ridership, satisfaction, rebounding to pre-COVID levels

Ting Chen
/
Flickr / Creative Commons

BART reported more than 123,600 trips on Saturday, up 54,000 more than the previous Saturday. Before that, BART said the post-pandemic record for a Saturday was in October 2023, with 116,000 trips.

Transit agencies across the Bay Area are still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic and are trying to increase ridership. BART says ridership has increased by nearly 10 percent since 2022.

During the height of the COVID shutdown, BART ridership declined by about 70 percent,as many Bay Area businesses switched to remote work and some residents moved away.

Last November, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission -- the transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county Bay Area -- announced that it would be releasing part of $5 billion in state funds earmarked for struggling transit agencies. The funds will keep Bay Area agencies from making service cuts through June 2026.

BART has recently made changes in an effort to increase safety and efficiency by shortening trains and increasing frequency of service. Running fewer cars is meant to allow BART police to increase its visibility with the same amount of staff.

BART is also touting the results of a recent surveyof its ridership, which found that 80 percent of those who responded are fairly happy with the transit service. That’s up substantially from the 56 percent rating from 2018.

Sunni M. Khalid is a veteran of more than 40 years in journalism, having worked in print, radio, television, and web journalism.