Emery Go-Round, AC Transit, BART Announce Reduced Service in Response to Plummeting Ridership
(Updated March 24th at 2:45pm to reflect new information from Amtrak.)
Transit providers in the East Bay are adjusting service schedules in response to lowered demand for rides. This comes in response to the current shelter-in-place orders by both the Governor and Alameda County health officials addressing the COVID-19 outbreak.
Emery Go-Round has announced reduced service effective Monday, March 30th. Shuttles will eliminate their more frequent commuter schedule and run their standard service schedule only, between 5:30 a.m. and 9:15 p.m. Frequency will be reduced to approximately once-every-15-minutes, seven days a week.
Commute service buses will not run on weekdays. Passengers wishing to reach their destination will need to follow the standard service schedule and routing instead.
The Emeryville Transportation Management Association (ETMA) has also published a response plan, outlining the measures they’re taking to protect drivers and riders during the COVID-19 outbreak. These efforts include additional signage to raise awareness, an action plan to handle riders exhibiting symptoms of certain illnesses, and the use of a germicide cleaner during vehicle cleanings.
Effective Monday, 3/23, please use rear doors for boarding if you are able. For ADA ramp, mobility devices or priority seating, please use front door. No fare payment required until further notice. https://t.co/RmDocdXF29 pic.twitter.com/H1nPYv9CHa
— AC Transit (@rideact) March 22, 2020
AC Transit is implementing rear-door boarding on buses with multiple doors, with no fare payment required until further notice. This move mirrors new boarding procedures implemented by other bus transit agencies nationwide.
“Passengers who require a ramp, use mobility devices or need priority seating may continue to use the front door for boarding. Wheelchair riders may be allowed onboard without securements by bus operators,” said the agency on an unsigned notice posted on its website.
Riders are encouraged to obey social distancing best practices between each other and the bus operator.
The agency is maintaining regular schedules, with the exception of school-specific service (600-line service).
AC Transit will also increase its cleaning measures on-board its buses.
Starting Monday March 23, BART will close at 9pm each day. Starting March 28, the system will open at 8am on Saturdays. https://t.co/4R5amc59Jx for full details and alternatives.
— SFBARTalert (@SFBARTalert) March 19, 2020
Bay Area Rapid Transit
BART has reduced its service, limiting trains to running between 5 a.m. and 9 p.m. on weekdays at normal frequencies. Ridership on the agency is said to be down 85% and they are losing as much as $37 million per months in revenue.
Beginning Saturday, March 28th, weekend trains will run between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. at normal frequencies.
The agency says that that riders need to be on the train by 8:45pm in order to be assured that they can reach their intended destination.
BART is also responding to COVID-19 health concerns by increasing cleaning of its trains and installing hand sanitizer stations at every station.
Read more alerts on bart.gov.
Amtrak has announced reductions to its San Joaquins and Capitol Corridor services.
On the San Joaquins route, certain off-peak train service on the route will be suspended. Affected trains include 701, 702, 703, 704, 714, and 717. Connecting Thruway Bus service from Emeryville to San Francisco (Route 99) and certain bus routes originally scheduled to connect with to the suspended trains runs will also be halted or frequency reduced.
Furthermore, Cafe Car service is suspended. Smaller stations will be closed or go unstaffed, but the platform will remain open and trains will make stops there. Emeryville’s Amtrak station will remain open with reduced staffing and hours. For more detailed information on San Joaquins route and schedule changes, visit https://amtraksanjoaquins.com/
Capitol Corridor riders will see major train service changes as well. The service will now apply its weekday schedule 7-days-a-week, but with reduced frequency.
Capitol Corridor will only run five full round trips a day (down from seven). Train service for off-peak trains 529 and 536 is suspended. Train 543 will now terminate at Oakland/Jack London Square station. There is no continuation train service between Sacramento and Rocklin on trains 529 and 536, although limited bus service is available for Auburn, Rocklin, and Roseville stations.
Similar to the San Joaquins route, Cafe Car service is also suspended on all Capitol Corridor trains.
Thruway Bus service between Emeryville and San Francisco is shared with the San Joaquins and is also suspended. Capitol Corridor riders are being allowed to connect to BART at the Richmond or Oakland Coliseum stations for free until April 3rd by showing their Capitol Corridor ticket to the station agent.
After that date, riders will need to purchase a separate BART ticket to ride their system. Additionally, with the Cafe Car service also suspended, riders will need to purchase BART tickets at the BART station or at other Clipper Card Retailers.
Note that Trains 523 will not stop at the Richmond Amtrak station because BART service is not in operation at that early hour.
For full details on the Capitol Corridor route and schedule changes, visit https://www.capitolcorridor.org/