When more than 1 million people pour into The City — something that’s likely to happen for the Giants’ World Series parade Wednesday—public transportation will likely suffer from overcrowding, delays and disruptions.
However, local transit agencies are hoping that their experience with the 2010 parade will help them deal with the huge crowds more efficiently.
Two years ago, when the Giants captured the franchise’s first World Series title since moving to San Francisco in 1958, up to 1.5 million fans attended the victory parade — a number transit agencies did not expect. As a result, delays were rife throughout the otherwise jubilant day.
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With that in mind, BART, Muni and Golden Gate Transit are pleading with revelers to purchase their fares before Wednesday in order to avoid long lines at ticket machines. BART had anticipated an extra 100,000 passengers for the Nov. 3, 2010, parade; instead, more than 250,000 additional riders used the system, said spokeswoman Luna Salaver. Nearly 523,000 passengers used BART that day, which remains the busiest day in the agency’s history.
BART will be using longer trains and increasing service to accommodate the crowds Wednesday, but parade attendees should plan their trips ahead and try to avoid the normal commute hours of 6 to 9 a.m., Salaver said.
While Muni will be adding six additional underground Metro shuttle buses to deal with the crowds, the parade route will force the agency to reroute several lines. One new wrinkle to this year’s parade plan is the decision to close down large portions of Mission Street to all automobiles except buses and public safety vehicles. Overall,
25 routes will be affected by the parade, including all three of Muni’s cable car lines, its historic streetcar service and numerous buses.
Despite suffering damage to some of its transit fleet — including the torching of a bus — following the Giants’ series-clinching win in Detroit on Sunday, Muni’s service plan for Wednesday will not be hampered, Rose said. However, the parade will likely be costly — the 2010 event cost Muni $128,190, which included nearly $98,000 in graffiti abatement.
With transit service likely to be crowded throughout the day, Rose said passengers should give themselves plenty of time to get to and from the parade. Driving is discouraged, as parking will be limited, and the street closures will likely cause congestion and delays, Rose said.
The agency will be monitoring activities throughout the day and will act quickly to deal with overcrowding and system delays — a lesson they learned from the 2010 parade, Rose said.
“We’re definitely drawing on the experience from 2010 to come up with an effective and efficient transportation plan for Wednesday,” Rose said.
Golden Gate Transit will add three additional ferries during the morning commute Wednesday, something it didn’t do in 2010, spokeswoman Mary Currie said.
“We learned from last time that more than a ton of people went wild to get to this event,” said Currie.