Omicron Impacts Staffing and Service at Bay Area Transit Agencies – CBS San Francisco



HAYWARD (KPIX) – Public transportation around the Bay Area continues to face shortages during the pandemic. Omicron infections have sent workers home, forcing some agencies to delay service and cancel trips.

“It’s tough, it’s really tough,” said Lisa Regan, a San Leandro resident who is waiting for an AC Transit bus on Friday. “I mean I understand that – because it’s the drivers – but it’s hard on us, it’s hard on them.”

“I say forget it, I’m not going to wait, I’m going to walk,” Leticia Piper said of her frustration some nights trying to get home from work. She lives in Hayward and takes the AC Transit buses.

BART told KPIX on Friday that 40 employees had tested positive since mid-December. The agency has approximately 4,000 employees in total. Shifts missed by these absences were covered by overtime and on-call staff, but some trips had to be canceled.

There are many factors contributing to trips that never end during the pandemic. A review of data from December shows that BART achieved 92.4% service, according to the agency.

“That’s all I can really do, just hope it gets better and people come back to work,” said Mynor Tejada, a Hayward resident who uses AC Transit and BART.

About 120 staff at the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency have contracted COVID since the end of last month. Pre-existing worker shortages exacerbated Muni’s service disruptions, impacting passenger wait times.

“We haven’t canceled any routes yet, nothing like that, we’re just asking people to be patient with us,” said Erica Kato, chief spokesperson for SFTMA.

Golden Gate Transit said six daily trips were canceled this week, representing about 3% of its service.

“It’s quite interesting because there are a lot of people out there who don’t have jobs,” said Angela Padilla of staff shortages while waiting for the bus at Hayward.

VTA has more than 50 workers suffering from COVID-related illnesses, but their main concern remains a worker shortage that affected schedules before the emergence of the Omicron variant.

“We hope this will help clients plan as we don’t see any particular resolutions coming in the near term,” said Stacey Hendler Ross, VTA’s public information manager.

Some of Hayward’s runners said on Friday they had other options for getting around the Bay Area if the service was delayed or canceled, but others explained that they were completely dependent on public transportation. to move.

“Hopefully they can hire more people and they can get more buses here,” Regan said.


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