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Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) in the US announced that that it will suspend the extra services on the Yellow Line, effective from 19 March amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The operator stated that it the ridership on BART services was 54,031 which marks an 87% decrease in ridership compared with any normal Tuesday last month.

In order to offer transport for essential workers, including healthcare providers, BART is running the regular rail service using trainsets that are long enough to practise social distancing.

The cancelled trains are the ones that offer a more frequent service and not the regular schedule during normal commuting hours.

BART analysed data from extra trains from the morning of 18 March and stated that due to the low ridership, only seven riders were onboard each railcar.

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The operator said: “Moving these riders to the base trains that run every 15 minutes will not cause crowding and riders will be able to maintain social distancing.”

BART stated that the suspension of the extra trains with reduced demand will lead to a decreased need for maintenance, additional railcar cleaning and offer ‘train operators to backfill vacancies’.

The COVID-19 pandemic has so far killed more than 8,800 and infected over 218,000 people around the world. The US has reported 9,415 confirmed cases and 105 deaths so far.

Yesterday, the Indian Railways temporarily cancelled 80 trains across the country due to decreased demand.

In addition, US-based passenger railway service Amtrak also took steps to limit the spread of the coronavirus on its trains and has reduced some of its services.