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S.F. Giants Celebratory Parade Causes Transit Surge - Records Broken

The Oct. 31 parade to honor the World Series-winning San Francisco Giants resulted in record-breaking numbers of riders taking BART, Caltrain, SF Muni and ferries to attend the parade who were accommodated by increased service. Why not continue it?
November 4, 2012, 5am PST | Irvin Dawid
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The parade drew over 1 million S.F. Giants admirers to Market Street in San Francisco. The Bay Area News Group's transportation reporter, Mike Rosenberg, asks and answers the question on continuing the increased transit service and reports on the ridership records broken.

  • "BART, which maxed out Wednesday by running rush-hour service all day and saw its rider count surge 40 percent to 568,061, a one-day record.
  • Caltrain added 14 trains and nearly doubled its daily rider count to about 90,000, breaking the previous record of 80,000.
  • San Francisco Muni light rail added six trains and traffic surged 55 percent, with more riders than during the city's Super Bowl and World Series parades in 1988, 1989 and 2010.
  • Two ferry lines into San Francisco, from Vallejo and Larkspur, added boats and broke records for most riders in a day."

Riders, tired of packed trains, ask why not continue the increased service.

"Public transit in the United States of America was not something that was started to make money," said Mary Currie, spokeswoman for the district that operates Golden Gate Transit. "And it doesn't."

"Trains and buses that are packed to the brim can break even financially...(b)ut adding more service every day would mean an even higher taxpayer subsidy."

Rosenberg did not ask riders, though, about the service on the day of the parade.

At least one rider was not happy with it, and let others know in her letter, "Trapped in Giants 'hysteria'", published in the Mercury News Peninsula edition on Nov. 02.

"Usually, taking Caltrain is a fairly expedient way to reach my office in a mere 45 minutes. But Wednesday's trip became a nightmare. I was shocked at the disrespect of these supposed Giants fans who were supposed to be celebrating the team's win", Caltrain rider Alyssa Jacobson of Los Altos wrote.

"The trains ended up running over an hour late. The second the conductors opened the doors, the crowd stampeded forward, almost crushing me in the process. Leaving my office at 3:50 p.m., I did not arrive home until almost 7 p.m. after standing for almost three hours waiting for a train I could ride on because all the seats were taken."

In addition to the one-day record for Caltrain ridership on Oct. 31, Bill Silverfarb reports in the (San Mateo County) Daily Journal that in September, the San Francisco to San Jose commuter railroad "had an average weekday ridership of 50,821, an all-time high. It was the 26th straight month Caltrain's ridership has increased."

Thanks to MTC Library

Full Story:
Published on Friday, November 2, 2012 in San Jose Mercury News
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