BART personal hand strap available for sale for riders wanting to avoid touching train car surfaces


BART personal hand strap available for sale for riders wanting to avoid touching train car surfaces

BART staff using a personal hand strapAs riders plan to return to BART, BART is working to accommodate to riders' concerns about cleanliness and possible COVID-19 transmission via touching surfaces. One solution is the personal BART hand strap, which is lightweight, easy to use and easy to clean. 

The BART hand strap is made of polyester and nylon blend and has two loops on its ends. The loops make it easy to tie the hand strap to any poles or other surfaces in the train car without touching any surfaces. Shorter riders may use the hand strap to tie to parallel poles and grab bars above seats

Handstrap tying GIF

The materials are strong enough to hold its knot and keep the rider balanced even if the train experiences sudden jerk motions and make it easy to clean after a day's use riding BART or other public transit.

Close up of the tied personal hand strap

The hand straps are available for purchase for $5 plus tax on BART's online store, by phone order by calling 510-464-7136, and in person at the Customer Service window at Lake Merritt Station (Monday-Friday 7:30 am–4:45pm). A limited supply will be handed out as a surprise giveaway inside some stations to welcome riders back. 

The personal hand strap was realized in March in the very early onset of COVID-19 in the Bay Area. BART staff was asked to get creative with ideas to prevent spread of COVID-19 on BART and to reassure the public BART is a safe mode of transportation. The personal hand strap was suggested and was put out as a poll on social media to vote on. The public overwhelmingly voted that this is a product they would use (75% on Twitter out of 4,200 votes).

Personal hand strap is just one of many things BART is working to welcome riders back into the system during the pandemic. Listed as one of 15 steps on the Welcome Back Plan, hand straps are accompanied by other ideas as daily disinfection of trains and stations, free masks and hand sanitizer available at all stations, visual posters all over the system calling for social distancing, new pilot technologies to improve ventilation on trains and more.

We continue to ask riders to protect themselves and other passengers from risk of COVID-19 transmission by wearing a mask at all times when out in public and maintaining social distancing as much as possible. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) maintains frequently washing of hands, covering mouth when sneezing or coughing and avoiding contact with people who are sick as ways to prevent catching COVID-19. 

BART staff using a personal hand strap