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No huge BART crowds on bridge-closed, bridge-open day

By dcuff
Wednesday, September 9th, 2009 at 9:16 pm in BART, Bay Bridge.

BART officials were thinking that Tuesday might attract the largest crowds ever to the train system because Caltrans had announced plans late Monday to extend the Bay Bridge closure by one day until 5 a.m. Wednesday.

It never happened, though. Of course, the extended bridge closure didn’t last long either. Caltrans opened the Bay Bridge 7 a.m. Tuesday after crews finished bridge repairs earlier than expected.

In the end, BART ridership was just 4 percent above a regular Tuesday, or a total of some 369,442 passengers, the train system reported.

Bottom line: No records at all Tuesday. Not even as many passengers as Friday, the second highest ridership ever for a weekday on BART. Some 395,310 passengers boarded the train system on Friday, the first ever scheduled closure of the Bay Bridge on a work day. Friday also generated extra high numbers because trains ran 24 hours that day and public agencies had urged the public for weeks to prepare to read BART that day. 

So why was BART use relatively light Tuesday, considering that commuters had been warned the night before to prepare for a traffic nightmare with no Bay Bridge.

I think some people decided to stay home Tuesday because of all the uncertainty. Others awakened Tuesday morning to hear the bridge was open and scrapped their plans to ride BART. Linton Johnson, BART’s cheif spokesman, gives another reason: Many people don’t have jobs to commute to because of the high unemployment rate these days.



Some heard about Caltrans          



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