(Ekevara Kitpowsong/Special to S.F. Examiner)

BART will run more long trains during evening commute

BART officials said they will run more 10-car trains during the Wednesday evening commute to accommodate the estimated 10,000 extra passengers who rode the transit system in the morning to avoid a traffic nightmare caused by a fatal collision on the Bay Bridge.

Speaking at a news conference at the West Oakland BART station, spokeswoman Alicia Trost said the agency will follow its normal plan for the evening commute but will run as many full-length trains as possible.

Trost also suggested that passengers who want to avoid the expected crush of people at San Francisco stations consider leaving work either early or late, when trains might be less crowded.

In addition, Trost said BART will “meter” its stations by keeping passengers behind pay gates until platforms have cleared.

She said BART initially ran its normal service following the fatal collision at about 4:30 a.m. Wednesday that blocked three lanes of the westbound Bay Bridge, but continued to run long trains for hours past 9 a.m., when the transit system normally switches to shorter trains.

CHP spokesman Officer Bert Diaz said that at about 4:30 a.m., officers received a call about a collision between a box truck and a Golden Gate Transit bus just east of Treasure Island in the westbound lanes of the Bay Bridge.

Three people were in the box truck, which rear-ended the bus as it was coming to a stop, Diaz said.

One of the passengers in the truck died at the scene and two others were taken to a hospital with serious injuries. Authorities haven’t yet released the name of the passenger who died.

Golden Gate Transit spokeswoman Priya Clemens said two passengers on the bus — a BART bus bridge en route from the MacArthur station in Oakland to the Transbay Transit Center in San Francisco — were transported to a hospital.

Three lanes of the five-lane bridge were blocked for hours, snarling the morning commute into San Francisco. All lanes were opened by about 9:30 a.m., according to the CHP.

Joining Trost at the news conference at the West Oakland station, BART General Manager Grace Crunican said the hectic commute the Bay Area experienced Wednesday morning “shows how one accident can impact tens of thousands of people” and illustrates the vital role BART plays in getting people across the San Francisco Bay.

Crunican said she is renewing her call for the federal government to help fund BART’s Transbay Corridor Core Capacity Program, which she said is a package of strategic investments that will increase the train frequency between San Francisco and Oakland by more than 30 percent and overall capacity by 45 percent.

She said BART has lined up $2.3 billion in secured or planned local funding but needs $1.15 billion more from the federal government through a grant.

Crunican said the grant funding is being held up in the Federal Transit Administration’s Capital Investment Grants Program.

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