Riders drawn by BART’s 95% or better on time performance standard are flocking to the transit system in September, pushing weekday ridership past the 400,000-plus milestone for the third time this month, including more than 415,000 trips Monday, September 10.
“Record ridership is great for the Bay Area. It helps improve the environment and mobility throughout the region and the increased revenue will help us re-invest in our system,” said BART General Manager Grace Crunican. “At 40 years old, BART is carrying more people than ever. We have 410 more trains on order and they can’t get here fast enough. In the meantime, we’ve added four extra trains in each direction on our busy Millbrae to Richmond line each weeknight.”
BART has seen a remarkable boost in ridership. Nine of BART’s top 20 ridership days have been recorded in 2012. In the past, it took a Giants World Series parade or a Bay Bridge closure to spike ridership but ridership approaching or surpassing the 400,000 mark is becoming the new normal.
BART Increasing Capacity & Maximizing Its Fleet
BART is working to increase the interior capacity of its existing fleet of train cars to ease on-boarding and off-boarding and to create additional space for riders.
BART is also maximizing the use of its existing fleet of 669 train cars without sacrificing its 95% or better on time performance. On a typical day BART operates more than 85 percent of its total fleet of train cars, among the highest percentage of any major U.S. transit agency. The cars that are not in service are instead undergoing repairs or being retrofitted with improvements like the easier-to-clean vinyl seats or non-carpeted floors.
How to Find More Room
BART offers the following advice to passengers to help find a little more room:
Move beyond the center of the platform - the cars at either end of the train are generally less crowded;
If you have the flexibility to travel outside the busiest commute hours (7:30 to 9 a.m., 4:30 to 7 p.m.), you’re likely to find more room;
After you enter the train car, move away from the door and move down the aisle to create additional room;
If you’re wearing a backpack, remove it and hold it or place it between your legs;
If you are near the doors step out to the platform for a moment to free space for those trying to exit the train;
Perhaps most important: be considerate of your fellow passengers.