COVID-19 Page Updated December 22, 2021
All BARTA Bus Routes are operating NORMAL service. Riders are required to wear a mask. BARTA is collecting fares. Customers can board the bus at the front door.
BARTA Customers and Employees Still Need to Wear Masks. – Updated December 22, 2021
The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) have extended the Mask Mandate date from January 18, 2022 to March 18, 2022.
All public transit agencies must follow the federal regulations for face masks that make it required until March 18, 2022 for all persons either using public transit or at public transit facilities. Therefore, all RRTA Customers and Employees must continue to wear a face mask until March 18, 2022. The Mask Mandate is required for RRTA to follow based on the funding RRTA receives from FTA, which helps pay for local public transit.
FREE Rides on Route 1 and Route 3 to get to Vaccine Center – Monday, May 3, 2021
In an effort to assist the public with transportation to the Berks Cares Vaccine Center on 5th Street Highway, beside the Wal-Mart in Temple, BARTA will begin offering FREE RIDES on Route1/Temple via 5th Street and Route 3/Temple via Kutztown Road. The FREE RIDES will begin on Monday, May 3, 2021 and will be free for every rider, on every trip during the weekdays (Monday – Friday). The FREE Rides will be provided Monday through Friday on all trips. No free rides will be offered on the weekends when the center is closed.
The FREE RIDE offer will be in effect as long as the vaccination clinic is in operation.
Also, BARTA will allow BARTA Special Services customers to ride FREE when they have a scheduled vaccination appointment and use the BARTA Special Services shared-ride, paratransit service. BARTA Special Services customers can inform BARTA staff about their vaccination appointment to receive the FREE ride.
Executive Mask Order – Posted February 1, 2021
As of February 1, 2021, BARTA is following the Executive Order that requires riders must wear a mask while riding any mode of public transportation. Click here for the Executive Mask Order.
Face Mask Exemption Policy – Effective March 1, 2021. Any customer riding BARTA vehicles must wear a mask. This policy also applies to all BARTA properties. On March 1, 2021, if a customer tries to board a vehicle without a mask they will not be allowed to ride. Customers who cannot wear a mask due to a medical condition must get pre-approved from BARTA to receive an exemption card to ride. If customers do not have an exemption card they will not be allowed to ride without a mask.
Previously, BARTA did not require customers to provide proof of their medical condition. The new Executive Mask Order implemented by the CDC on February 1, 2021 allows public transit agencies to request proof of the medical condition to prove the person is exempt.
Customers interested in getting an exemption card need to fill out a form and provide medical documentation. Customers can email, mail or hand-in the completed documents needed for approval to BARTA. After processing, customer’s will be mailed the exemption card to show the driver when riding.
Mask Exemption Form – (Reasonable Modification Form)
BARTA will return to regular service on Monday, October 19, 2020 on all bus routes.
BARTA Will Resume Collecting Fares on Monday, August 10, 2020
Starting Monday, August 10, 2020, BARTA will begin collecting fares on all BARTA bus routes. BARTA suspended collecting fares on March 23rd and asked customers to follow a Rear Door Entry policy. BARTA has now installed plastic shield barriers at the driver area on the bus for protection when customers board and pay. Starting Monday, August 10, 2020, BARTA riders will be able to board the bus from the front door and exit from the rear door to help create a one-way entrance and exit flow to help with social distancing. Customers in wheelchairs or who have mobility needs can enter and exit through the front door where the wheelchair ramp and kneeler are located.
BARTA continues to require all riders to wear masks when riding.
The Customer Service Sales Window at the BTC will begin selling BARTA passes on Monday, August 3, 2020. Sales hours are Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
BARTA’s Shared-Ride Customer Service Lobby Area Returns to Normal Hours – June 25, 2020
Effective Monday, June 25, 2020, BARTA’s Shared-Ride Main Lobby Customer Service Area, located at 1700 North 11th Street, Reading, will return to normal hours, 8 AM to 5:30 PM. Customers can visit the customer service lobby for BARTA business but must wear a mask when entering the building.
BARTA Will Provide Service to Elite Sportswear on Route 5 – June 11, 2020
Starting Friday, June 11, 2020, the Route 5/Albright College bus route will provide service to Elite Sportswear Monday through Friday. No service to Elite Sportswear on Saturdays or Sunday.
The following trips will serve Elite Sportswear:
BARTA will resume service to Ashley Furniture starting Friday, May 8, 2020
BARTA was informed that Ashley Furniture is resuming operations. Starting Friday, May 8, 2020, BARTA will resume service to Ashley Furniture on the Route 20 – Route 61/Hamburg bus route.
Outbound trips will be request only
Inbound trips will provide service on each trip.
BARTA Requires Face Masks to Ride
Beginning Monday, April 20, 2020, all BARTA customers and employees will be required to wear face masks onboard BARTA buses and BARTA property.
Due to the order announced April 15, 2020 from the PA Dept. of Health, all customers and employees of essential businesses will now be required to wear masks.
Any BARTA customer who is not wearing a face mask will not be able to ride BARTA Bus Service. This includes BARTA Special Services shared-ride customers.
The order states people who can’t wear masks because of a medical condition will not be required to wear one and will be allowed to use BARTA services.
Any BARTA customer waiting for a bus at The BTC will need to be wearing a mask or they will be asked to leave the property.
BARTA will move to Saturday Schedule starting Monday, March 30, 2020
BARTA bus service will begin operating on a Saturday Schedule starting Monday, March 30, 2020. Until further notice, all bus routes operating Monday through Saturday will follow the normal Saturday schedules. The Route 22 – Lyon Station/East Penn- Deka bus route which normally does not operate on Saturdays will continue its normal weekday schedule. BARTA’s Sunday service will continue to operate the normal Sunday schedule on Sundays.
Starting Monday, March 30, 2020, the BARTA Transportation Center (BTC) pass sales window will be closed until further notice. The BTC’s Public Restrooms will remain closed until further notice. BARTA requests customers practice “social distancing” while waiting for their bus routes in all waiting areas.
BARTA continues a “Rear Door Entry Policy” for all routes. All customers must board the bus from the rear door to help with social distancing from the driver. If any customer does need assistance and needs to use the front door they will be allowed. Please ask the driver to activate the kneeler. Also, BARTA continues to not collect fares. Free fares began Monday, March 23rd and will continue until further notice.
Due to COVID-19, and out of an abundance of caution for BARTA employees and the general public, BARTA requests that riders limit non-essential bus travel until further notice.
Rear Door Entry Change & Free Fares on BARTA Bus Service. – Effective Monday, March 23rd
Beginning Monday, March 23, 2020, BARTA will implement a “Rear Door Entry Policy” for all bus routes. If anyone does need assistance and needs to use the front door they will be allowed. Please ask the driver to activate the kneeler.
Also, on March 23, 2020, BARTA Bus Service will not collect fares on any of the bus routes.. Free Fares for all bus routes will begin Monday, March 23rd and continue until further notice.
Past BARTA COVID-19 Communication
BARTA Statement Regarding COVID-19 – April 9, 2020
BARTA Encourages Riders to Wear Masks – April 6, 2020
BARTA Shared Ride Customer Service Lobby Changes Hours – April 1, 2020
31 Day Customers Replacement Pass Policy – Posted March 23, 2020
BARTA Requests Riders Limit Non-Essential Travel – Posted March 17, 2020
Penn State Berks Request Only – Posted March 13, 2020
BARTA’s Cleaning Practices Posted March 11, 2020