OAKLAND (KPIX) — Starting Wednesday, BART will begin enforcing county health orders that require people to wear face coverings while riding trains, waiting in the stations or even being in the parking lot.
“The public health ordinances require it. They specifically mention BART, the bus agencies, Uber, Lyft, and taxis,” said BART Spokesperson Alicia Trost.
On Wednesday morning, health orders in Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco and San Mateo counties will all require face masks in public settings.
The orders require BART to take reasonable measures to remind the public that they need facing coverings and “must take all reasonable steps to prohibit any member of the public who is not wearing a face covering from entering and must not serve that person if those efforts are unsuccessful and seek to remove that person.”
Many BART riders have been voluntarily wearing masks for the last few weeks, but not everyone.
BART says that is going to change.
“Beginning Wednesday, you must have a face covering to ride BART or even just be on our property including our parking lots,” Trost said.
BART says notifications will be going up at all the stations, and verbal reminders will be announced on loudspeakers.
“As I see it getting more and more crowded, I’m definitely with that,” said BART Rider Chris Cooper at the Fremont station.
BART Police, not station agents, will be enforcing the order.
“It makes me feel safer, so they should feel safer,” said Ken Ramshaw, who was waiting for a ride in the BART pick up area.
Violators could be asked to leave BART. BART officials said failure to comply with the emergency health order is a misdemeanor.
But BART says it will work with riders not in compliance before any penalties happen.
“The first step is, can we get creative with this? Do you have even a shirt you can pull up to cover part of your face? But if not, we will have to send you away, we will have to follow those county rules,” Trost said.
Officials said riders should not confront others without a face covering. If someone isn’t wearing a face covering, riders should move away from the individual.
BART says the new rules will be in effect until further notice.