Bay Area transit agency again requires masking

July 29, 2022 GMT
Commuters with and without masks travel on a BART train in San Francisco, Calif, on Tuesday, April 19, 2022. The San Francisco Bay Area's transit system is again requiring masks for travelers and employees, the agency announced Thursday, July 28, 2022.  (Scott Strazzante/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)
Commuters with and without masks travel on a BART train in San Francisco, Calif, on Tuesday, April 19, 2022. The San Francisco Bay Area's transit system is again requiring masks for travelers and employees, the agency announced Thursday, July 28, 2022.  (Scott Strazzante/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)
Commuters with and without masks travel on a BART train in San Francisco, Calif, on Tuesday, April 19, 2022. The San Francisco Bay Area's transit system is again requiring masks for travelers and employees, the agency announced Thursday, July 28, 2022.  (Scott Strazzante/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)
Commuters with and without masks travel on a BART train in San Francisco, Calif, on Tuesday, April 19, 2022. The San Francisco Bay Area's transit system is again requiring masks for travelers and employees, the agency announced Thursday, July 28, 2022. (Scott Strazzante/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)
Commuters with and without masks travel on a BART train in San Francisco, Calif, on Tuesday, April 19, 2022. The San Francisco Bay Area's transit system is again requiring masks for travelers and employees, the agency announced Thursday, July 28, 2022. (Scott Strazzante/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The commuter train system servicing the San Francisco Bay Area is again requiring masks for travelers and employees, the agency said.

The Bay Area Rapid Transit’s board of directors voted Thursday to immediately reinstate the mask mandate on all trains and in stations beyond ticket gates. It runs through Oct. 1 unless it’s extended again.

BART’s previous mask mandate started in April and ended on July 18. For 10 days, masking was optional but highly encouraged.

BART serves commuters in the Bay Area counties of San Francisco, San Mateo, Alameda, Contra Costa and Santa Clara.

BART board’s vote came hours after Los Angeles County public health officials dropped a plan to impose a universal indoor mask mandate this week as COVID-19 infections and rates of hospitalizations have stabilized. However, masks are still required at all indoor public transportation hubs in Los Angeles County, including airports and bus terminals and on all public transit, including buses, trains, taxis and ride-hailing service vehicles.

Both San Francisco and Los Angeles counties are at the “high” level of community transmission set by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.