As of today, BART is committing to keeping its trains running during the three-week mandatory shelter-in-place order in the Bay Area in order to help residents to do essential travel.

BART announced late Monday that it would run long trains in order to allow for more social distancing, and it's not yet clear whether the trains will run on a more limited schedule.

As KPIX reports via BART, "essential business" and "essential travel" are defined as:

  • shopping for necessary services or supplies
  • performing tasks essential to the health and safety of oneself and one's family
  • caring for elderly, minors, dependents, persons with disabilities, or other vulnerable persons
  • traveling to or from educational institutions for purposes of receiving materials for distance learning, for receiving meals, or for any other related activity
  • returning to a place of residence from outside the jurisdiction
  • travel as required by law enforcement or court order
  • travel required for non-residents to return to their place of residence outside a given county

The latter, broad-sounding exception seems geared toward those employees of businesses staying open, like restaurants serving takeout, pharmacies, and grocery stores, who may need to travel between counties to get from home to work and back.

BART further assured riders that it has increased cleaning and disinfecting both stations and trains. And ridership has been down as much as 61 percent depending on the day of the week.