Bay Area transit representatives and commuters reported normal trips this morning despite the temporary closure of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.
The Bay Bridge closed for seismic retrofit work Thursday night, and is scheduled to reopen by 5 a.m. Tuesday.
Transportation agencies have spent weeks preparing for increased public transportation use and potential traffic congestion in the region, and so far, officials are reporting a smooth first morning without the bridge.
BART officials said there were about 25,000 additional riders Thursday of this week, compared to Thursday of last week.
There were about 10,000 more system-wide exists between 3 a.m. and 8 a.m. today, compared to last Friday, according to BART, but many commuters said their trips were normal.
Carol Hill, a human resources chief at the U.S. General Services Administration in San Francisco, said she left home at the usual time because she saw on the news that traffic was light.
Hill said she is a regular BART commuter and takes the Union City Station to the Civic Center stop.
“It seemed about the same,” she said. “I was surprised. I think everybody just took off work.”
Other riders said they had similar experiences, and a BART dispatcher reported there were no delays due to additional riders. Riders also said they did not have trouble parking at BART stations this morning.
A Blue & Gold Fleet ferry service dispatcher said there has been an increase in riders between Oakland and Alameda and San Francisco today, but regular service has accommodated the additional passengers.
The Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District spokeswoman also said there were no challenges during this morning’s commute, and figures showed there was similar traffic today compared to a year ago.
“It’s been pretty quiet,” spokeswoman Mary Currie said.
There were an additional 2,600 vehicles coming into the city between midnight and 10 a.m. today, compared to the Friday before Labor Day last year, Currie said. Additional vehicles peaked between 5 and 6 a.m., with 741 more this year.
Between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m., there were actually more vehicles last year than this year, according to Currie.
“We encouraged people to take transit, telecommute, do whatever they could,” she said. “It looks like they were paying attention.”