475,015 Passengers: BART Hits Third-Highest Ridership Day Thursday

The closure of the Bay Bridge led BART to have the third-highest daily ridership total in its history on Thursday, agency officials said today.

BART trains took a total of 475,015 riders around the Bay Area on Thursday, well above the previous third-highest total of 442,067, which occurred during an emergency closure of the Bay Bridge in October 2009.

Only the days of the San Francisco Giants’ World Series victory parades in 2010 and 2012 saw higher ridership numbers in the system, with 522,198 in 2010 and 568,061 last year, agency officials said.

BART spokesman Jim Allison said large crowds are expected on trains throughout the Bay Bridge closure, which began Wednesday night and is scheduled to last until early Tuesday morning while crews prepare to open the new eastern span of the bridge.

“I think it’s going to be busy, but not as busy as Thursday,” Allison said, noting that Friday commutes are generally lighter than ones earlier in the week.

The 427,554 trips taken Wednesday on BART trains was the agency’s 10th-highest daily total ever.

BART is running longer trains than usual during the bridge closure and is also running limited 24-hour service at 14 stations until Monday night.

Information on how to get around the Bay Area during the bridge closure can be found online at alert.511.org.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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