BART to mandate COVID-19 vaccination for all employees

Felony arrests on BART increased by 62 percent from 2022 to 2023
Photo credit: BART

BART’s Board of Directors voted to mandate COVID-19 vaccination for all employees, requiring proof of vaccination by Dec. 13.

The decision passed with an 8-1 vote at the Board’s meeting Thursday despite opposition from a handful of employees. BART has stated 833 of over 4,000 employees are unvaccinated. Vaccination rates have reportedly remained stagnate since mid-September, despite the agency’s efforts to incentivize getting vaccinated.

Those conflicted over the new requirements have suggested permitting unvaccinated employees to show proof of weekly negative COVID-19 tests. Some have vocalized fears that BART services may be disrupted if unvaccinated workers are faced with termination following the Dec. 13 deadline. Details on how employees who refuse vaccination have yet to be released.

The policy allows for negotiations with BART’s labor unions, leaving some of the more controversial discussion topics in the power of the unions. The full policy statement from BART and board meeting video can be viewed here.

The BART mandate comes after numerous large transit agencies have already implemented similar practices, such as Muni and L.A. Metro service.