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Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) crews are taking advantage of a 90 percent drop in ridership and early station closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic to work on capital improvement projects.
At 19th Street Station in Oakland, California, BART crews last week demolished a long-closed restroom to rebuild and reopen it to the public as part of a larger station modernization program, BART officials said in a press release.
Also last week, crews installed LED lighting at El Cerrito del Norte Station, and serviced elevator and escalators at Milpitas and Civic Center stations.
BART crews last week also performed weekend track work, including a cable trough installation between Orinda and Lafayette stations, and a track replacement between South Hayward and Union City stations.
Because capital projects are not paid for out of operating funds, BART’s large revenue losses caused by lower ridership have not impacted infrastructure work.
BART officials estimated a loss of $24.7 million and nearly 6 million trips in March.
As part of reducing operating costs, BART moved 200 maintenance and engineering employees from operating projects to rebuilding capital projects.