BART shatters historic ridership record

Approximately 437,200 commuters squeezed onto BART trains Wednesday, shattering the transit system’s historic ridership record.

Judging by Thursday’s morning commute, that record will be beat again.

The Bay Area's state run bridges experienced a net loss of $335,000 in toll revenue on Wednesday, according to John Goodwin of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. 

As uncertainty lingered Thursday morning over the opening of the Bay Bridge, BART saw a 60 percent increase in trans-bay commuters, up from 50 percent the previous day.

About 88,000 commuters crossed the Bay Thursday morning. On a typical Thursday, that number is 55,000, BART spokesman Linton Johnson said.

Before Wednesday, BART’s highest volume day was Sept. 8, 2008, when 405,400 people rode the trains. 

With Caltrans recommending travelers make alternate plans for Thursday evening’s commute, more people will board BART than ever before, Johnson said.

Meanwhile, Caltrans has not given a time for when the bridge will re-open following emergency repairs.

Crews worked all night to finish welding and placement of steel plates. All welding was finished by 8 a.m. Thursday morning, Caltrans officials reported.

Tie rods were being strapped to eyebars Thursday morning to prevent them from falling again.  Other work, such as installation of the high strength tie rods, was underway Thursday afternoon. 

In the meantime, BART is continuing to run more and longer service. Treasure Island residents can access to their homes through the San Francisco side of the Bay Bridge, providing they can verify their addresses.

Thursday was the second day of traffic and transit congestion after a piece of the bridge failed and chunks of metal fell onto cars during Tuesday’s rush hour. It was the same cracked bar that delayed the reopening of the bridge over Labor Day weekend. The Federal Highway Administration is investigating the matter.

 

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