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Station Agents Working At Antioch BART Station For First Time Since Opening

ANTIOCH (BCN/CBS SF) -- BART is assigning station agents to the Antioch station Monday for the first time since the station opened in 2018.

Since its opening nearly three years ago, BART has provided customer service at the station through a nearby control center and via call buttons around the station.

However, the agency has received feedback from riders who said they wanted more BART staff at the station, allowing for easier direct assistance when riders have questions and complaints.

BART Board President Mark Foley was scheduled to attend a welcoming event for the new station agents around 4:30 p.m. Monday while taking feedback from riders and offering them free hand straps.

Last week, BART officials announced the transit agency would be altering its weekday and weekend schedules starting Monday to allow for additional trips as ridership increases and the COVID-19 pandemic wanes.

The schedule leaves service hours unchanged as BART staff monitors ridership and demand with more relaxed COVID-19 restrictions.

The new schedule is already available to view on the agency's online Trip Planner and both versions of the BART App. PDFs of the current and new schedule timetables for all six train lines are also available.

"Weekday riders will have the same frequency they experience now, but the new schedule allows us to add 26 additional trips to enhance 15-minute commute periods when and where ridership data reflects more riders are returning," read the transit agency statement on the schedule changes.

BART officials say they plan to add additional trips when train car loading data shows there are consistently more than 30 people per car on a train. Officials said current figures indicate ridership has yet to surpass a post COVID high of 55,000 weekday riders.

Starting Saturday, March 27, BART will be running identical schedules on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday service will run as three-line service (Yellow, Orange, and Blue), which means some riders may have to transfer to finish their trip as they do on Sundays.

On Sundays when service is impacted by single tracking for maintenance, the Dublin/Pleasanton (Blue) line will terminate at Montgomery. Riders will need to transfer to a Yellow line train to finish their trip.

Previously, the Blue line extended to 24th Street/Mission on single tracking days. On Sundays when there is no single tracking to upgrade the electrical power system in Downtown San Francisco, the Blue line will terminate at Daly City.

52,000 people a day are now riding BART. While that is down from pre-pandemic numbers of 400,000, it does represent progress.

"BART's latest schedule allows us to add trains as riders begin trickle back, said BART spokesperson Alicia Trost. "We don't want to put out too much service, because we have to be really, really wise with our money and have to operate as lean as possible. Because we are very concerned about ridership over the next few years."

Riders say there's plenty of room for social distancing on trains. 

"It's pretty clean," said BART rider Anthony Uribe. "I get a seat. The only thing is the frequency now is a little longer than what it used to be." 

"It's been getting a lot fuller recently. People are generally wearing their masks and staying to one person per row," said BART rider Sunnifa Nabertil.

BART officials say they're getting 93 percent mask wearing compliance and the air in cars is being replaced every 70 seconds. 

Additional details on updates to the BART service schedule are available on the BART website.

© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

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