BART Disruption Shows Regional Dependence on Transit
With BART service halted, Bay Bridge traffic for the most part came to a standstill, a clear illustration of how motorists depend on Bay Area Rapid Transit to keep cars off the bridge on a normal day. Michael Cabanatuan and additional San Francisco Chronicle reporters contributed to the "commuter nightmare" front-page article.
Help came from throughout the region.
- Buses from the East and South Bays stepped in to assist AC Transit which normally carries 14,000 Transbay passengers daily. It carried 12,500 extra passengers.
- The Water Emergency Transportation Authority added four additional boats to its Oakland-Alameda Route. Result: "ridership was 9,531--compared to approximately 2,500 passengers carried during a typical weekday."
However, transportation officials admitted that "there is no replacement for BART'S Transbay Tube." As Metropolitan Transportation Commission spokesman Randy Rentschler put it, "You just can't replace that kind of capacity".
"During the morning commute, he said, BART carries roughly the same number of passengers as a six-lane freeway. A 10-car standing-room-only BART train can carry as many as 1,200 people."
The San Francisco Chronicle editorial summed it up well. "The ensuing traffic jams, overcrowded ferries and lost productivity should be an important reminder to everyone about the importance of mass transit for keeping this region moving."
Thanks to MTC Library