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Transit Ridership on the Rise

Noah Berger

As the Bay Area emerges from the latest COVID-19 surge, transit ridership is on the rise again throughout the region.

Data from Clipper®, the Bay Area’s all-in-one transit card, shows transit is rebounding after a dip at the end of 2021. The number of transit trips paid for with a Clipper Card for BART, Muni and AC Transit have all increased by over 100% between December 25, 2021, and February 2, 2022, and continue to be on an upward path.

Agency Riders on 12/26/2021 Riders on 2/2/2022 % Change
BART 28,943 99,596 + 240%
Muni 29,207 64,807 + 120%
AC Transit 10,720 36,737 + 240%

Ridership trends have been holding steady at other large Bay Area transit agencies, including VTA, SamTrans, Caltrain, Golden Gate Transit and the San Francisco Bay Ferry.

Transit agencies and operators are working to keep riders and staff safe by:

  • Requiring face masks for passengers and staff
  • Requiring staff to be fully vaccinated or submit to regular testing
  • Encouraging riders to maintain a social distance when possible
  • Upgrading their ventilation and filtration systems in vehicles (including some that completely filter the air inside a train car in as little as 70 seconds)
  • Enhancing cleaning protocols

Although California’s mask mandate for indoor spaces and workplaces ended on Feb. 15, face coverings are still required on transit through at least March 18, 2022, according to the Federal Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Bay Area transit agencies report good mask compliance among riders. For example, an average of 96% of San Francisco's Muni riders wear masks while onboard. And recent studies have shown that riding public transit does not increase a person’s risk of contracting COVID-19.

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