Home>Articles>BART Board Brings Back Masking Mandates 10 Days After Last Mandate Ended

Beautiful view of business center in downtown San Francisco at sunset. (Photo: f11photo/Shutterstock)

BART Board Brings Back Masking Mandates 10 Days After Last Mandate Ended

Mandate vote marks 4th time this year that BART has changed their mind on mandates on rapid transit system

By Evan Symon, July 29, 2022 12:56 pm

The Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Board of Directors voted on Thursday to reinstate the masking mandate for all passengers and employees on Thursday, only 10 days after the last mandate had ended on the Bay Area’s rapid transit rail system.

Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, BART has gone through many on-and-off periods of masking being mandatory while riding the system. This year alone, the system has seen mandatory masking ended at the beginning year due to a large drop in new cases following the winter COVID-19 case rise, and reinstated following a new rise of cases in April, removed once again on July 18th.

With yet another swing in cases in the Bay Area this month, BART issued the mandate again, resulting in yet another quick and rash flip-flop that will last this time until at least the early fall.

“The BART Board of Directors has voted to reinstitute a face mask requirement effective immediately until and inclusive of October 1, 2022, unless further extended by the board,” the transit system said in a statement on Thursday. “The temporary amendment to the District’s Code of Conduct requires riders to wear face masks that fully covers a person’s nose and mouth in paid areas of the system with limited exceptions.”

Masking will now be required once past all fare gates once again, with the only exceptions to the mandate being children who are 2 and under, as well as riders with medical conditions who cannot wear masks, such as those who use external oxygen tanks to breathe. Free masks will be handed out to those without masks at station booths and from BART safety employees. Should any rider reject a mask or the offer of a free mask, a citation of up to $75 will be issued. The person refusing would also be ejected from all paying areas.

Masking mandate returns to BART after only 10 days

While not entirely unexpected, the returning BART policy turned the heads of many who did not expect a return so soon and who didn’t think the mandate would return following major mandate rejections happening recently across the state.

“For weeks, we’ve seen more and more cities and counties across California reject bringing back masking mandates, even though there is still worry amongst some of COVID variants and monkeypox,” explained Miguel Oliver, a policy consultant on many mass transit systems in the US and Mexico, to the Globe on Friday. “Look at LA surprising everyone and not bringing back the mandate yesterday. But mass transit systems have always been different with people shuffling in and out everywhere. And it can be understandable to even some of the more vocal people wanting to get rid of mandates, especially systems that swing by airports and hospitals often enough.

“LA’s makes sense because of that, and they have been consistent in requiring masks for a few years now. I mean, people want it to be removed, but you aren’t seeing people protesting it. BART however, that’s one without those dangers. Sure, a few airports are hooked up, but it is very much a city-commuter based line through rail rapid transit, not like LA Metro’s mix of trains and buses. So it is very odd BART keeps going back and forth on this and just confusing riders. If any system deserves an end to the mandate now, it is BART, but they just went back to it after less than two weeks. That’s nuts. Not other transit system keeps going back and forth and confusing riders like they are.”

The BART board is due to meet again on September 22nd, where it will meet to vote on another mandate extension.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Evan Symon
Spread the news:

 RELATED ARTICLES

3 thoughts on “BART Board Brings Back Masking Mandates 10 Days After Last Mandate Ended

  1. OMG!!!!!! Monkeypox! Realliy?! “.”..though there is still worry amongst some of COVID variants and monkeypox,” explained Miguel Oliver, a policy consultant…”
    “”…LA’s makes sense because of that, and they have been consistent in requiring masks for a few years now…”” a few years?

  2. Hmmm, they cite rising Covid cases and Moneypox.
    Moneypox is spread through physical contact, ya know skin to skin contact. Unless you are making out with your seat-mate or some other hanky panky in the back corner, there is no need for a mask. Maybe they should hand out condoms while they are at it.
    A $75 dollar fine is a nice little money maker for the broke BART system. That puts the money in moneypox.

  3. The BART Board of Directors is comprised of nine elected officials from the nine BART districts who serve a four-year term. Who is on the Board of Directors? Rebecca Saltzman was elected to serve as President of the Board for 2022. Saltzman graduated with a BA in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley. She lives in El Cerrito with her wife Caitlin and their daughter, and relies on BART, buses, and walking to get around. Janice Li was elected to the BART Board of Directors in November 2018 and was elected to serve as Vice President of the Board for 2022. Janice was born in Hong Kong and moved to the U.S. at a young age. Prior to moving to San Francisco, she worked for People United for Sustainable Housing, a community-based organization in Buffalo, NY. In 2013, Janice moved to San Francisco where she began working as a community organizer with the SF Bicycle Coalition. The rest of the BART Board of Directors have similar leftist backgrounds. Is anyone surprised that the Bart Board of Directors act like petty Marxist dictators who impose mask mandates when masks have been shown to be ineffective?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.