BART to fill in for Bay Bridge during closure

Despite an expected influx of riders and some minor mechanical problems that caused regional delays last week, BART is fully prepared to increase services during the upcoming Labor Day weekend while both directions of the Bay Bridge are shut down for more than three days, officials said.

On Friday afternoon, BART trains were delayed for up to 30 minutes in the East Bay after a cover board that protects an electrical rail broke and trains were forced to operate on one track, BART spokesman Jim Allison said.

A separate switching problem between the San Francisco International Airport and the Millbrae BART station also delayed trains Friday afternoon. Trains traveling to Millbrae on the Dublin-Pleasanton line had to turn back at SFO and travelers were transferred to shuttles.

During this weekend’s Bay Bridge closure, BART plans to add more trains, as well as overnight service to 14 of its 43 stations. The transit agency does not know how many passengers are likely to use the system during the three-day holiday weekend, but there are 250,000 to 300,000 vehicles that cross the bridge connecting San Francisco to the East Bay each weekday, according to Caltrans, which oversees state highways.

BART is also expecting an influx of people Friday night, as a Beyoncé concert at Oracle Arena in Oakland and an Oakland A’s ballgame are expected to attract large crowds.

Since BART has known about the bridge closure for weeks, Allison said the system has had ample time to prepare and make sure the trains and tracks are in good shape.

“It’s just a matter of luck whether another cover board breaks, and we’ve always got crews on hand,” Allison said. “We’re confident we’re ready.”

Caltrans is closing both directions of the Bay Bridge from 8 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 4, so workers can demolish a football-field-size portion of the upper deck and install a new seismically upgraded structure in its place.

The last time the Bay Bridge was entirely shut to traffic was after the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989. BART provided extended service for passengers for a month after the earthquake, Allison said.

arocha@examiner.com

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Chase Center and the Golden State Warriors hosted a media Welcome Back conference to discuss the safety protocols and amenities when fans return for a basketball game on April 23rd at Chase Center on April 13, 2021 in San Francisco, California. (Photography by Chris Victorio | Special to the S.F. Examiner).
Golden State Warriors ready to welcome fans back to Chase Center

COVID-19 tests, app-based food ordering among new safety protocols announced this week

People came out in numbers to memorialize George Floyd, who was fatally shot by police, outside San Francisco City Hall on June 9, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFPD prepares for possible protests as Chauvin trial continues

Police to schedule community meetings, provide officers with crowd control training

Mayor London Breed said Tuesday that with other counties moving ahead with expanding vaccine eligibility “we want San Franciscans to have the same opportunity.” (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Everyone in SF ages 16 and up is now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine

San Francisco expanded eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday to everyone ages… Continue reading

San Francisco Park Rangers have seen their budget and staffing levels increase significantly since 2014. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Citations for being in SF’s public parks after midnight soar

Data shows disproportionate impact on Black residents

Central City SRO Collective tenant leader Reggie Reed, left, and Eddie Ahn, executive director of Brightline Defense, were among those distributing environmental awareness posters throughout the Tenderloin, Mid-Market and South of Market neighborhoods. (Courtesy Central City SRO Collaborative)
Environmental dangers are connected to racism

Let’s attack problems with better policies, greater awareness

Most Read