For the second day in a row, BART trains carried a record number of passengers Thursday during the continued closure of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, a BART spokesman said today.

A total of 442,000 people rode BART trains Thursday, the highest number in the agency’s 37-year history, according to spokesman Linton Johnson.

The ridership total was about 86,000 people higher than an average Thursday, Johnson said. The high numbers came after the closure of the Bay Bridge for emergency repair after two rods and a crossbar fell onto the upper deck of the bridge Tuesday evening.

BART’s previous record was set Wednesday, when the trains carried 437,200 riders. The record before this week was 405,400, which was set Sept. 8, 2008, a Monday when both the San Francisco Giants and Oakland Raiders were playing in the Bay Area.

The agency is not expected to set a new record today due to smaller amounts of workers who have to commute on Fridays, Johnson said.

About 129,000 people had used the trains today as of 10 a.m. That number was 14,600 less than Thursday at the same time, but still far higher than an average Friday, Johnson said.

The large number of riders taking the trains during the Bay Bridge closure “goes to show how important BART is to the region’s mobility,” he said. “We’ve been stepping up to the plate like we always do when there’s crises like these.”

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  • brad

    Stepping up to the plate? BS! I saw 8 and 9 car trains leaving Montgomery Station last night during rush hour. I thought they were going to run only 10 car trains into the city? And what about running trains overnight, at least once an hour? At least to a limited number of station? I understand its costly to keep every station open all night, but couldn’t they keep one downtown SF station open and one or two on each East Bay line so at least people that have to work ungodly hours have an option for getting to and from work? BART loses money on that, so no. Oh,unless CalTans wants to subsidize it. It seems to me any losses they might have from running trains overnight would be more than offset by the huge ridership numbers during the day.