As expected, high unemployment took a bite out of BART’s ridership numbers, but the average passengers for the first quarter of this fiscal year were even worse than expected for the regional transit agency.
For the months of July, August, and September, BART averaged 338,482 weekly riders, nearly 11,000 below normal expectations, despite the extended closure of the Bay Bridge in September, according to the agency’s latest quarterly reports.
Average ridership dropped by 9.7 percent from the same fiscal quarter last year, although BART officials had predicted the drop off. But even with expectations forecasted much lower, ridership numbers were still nearly two percent below what the agency had budgeted in for this quarter. Travel to the San Francisco Airport also dropped by 8.7 percent when compared to the first quarter of last year.
The bleak ridership numbers were countered with some good news for the agency. For the first time in 14 years, BART met both its on-time performance and customer satisfaction goals.