Ridership for other modes of public transit are up as Bay Area Rapid Transit trains remained out of service because of a labor strike that began Friday.
Passengers using the San Francisco Bay Ferry service almost doubled Sunday, while there were also more riders on Caltrain and SamTrans.
The Sunday morning count for the ferry service totaled 1,920 passengers departing from Alameda, Oakland, Vallejo and San Francisco. It then nearly tripled on Monday, with a 183 percent increase in riders, jumping to 7,508 passengers from the average 2,650 passengers, departing from Oakland, Alameda, San Francisco, Vallejo, Harbor Bay and South San Francisco, according to Ernest Sanchez, San Francisco Bay Ferry spokesman.
“We anticipated a spike in ridership [yesterday] and we saw that with a 183 percent increase in the number of riders we carried,” Sanchez said in a press release. “Lines were long, but they moved at a good pace and our riders were incredibly patient.”
On Friday, there were 3,000 additional trips taken on Caltrain, said Jayme Ackemann, communications manager for SamTrans, Caltrain and the San Mateo County Transportation Authority. Additionally, SamTrans carried 780 people yesterday on a special shuttle designated to accommodate displaced BART riders during the strike, she said.
There were 299 people who departed from the South San Francisco ferry terminal to Alameda and Oakland yesterday morning, compared to a regular average of 160 people, said Liz Westover, who handles communications for San Francisco Bay Area Ferry Service. The ferry service expects higher numbers today as well since, even though a tentative agreement was reached Monday night, it takes 16 hours to set up the BART trains. Ridership last Friday didn’t jump as much, as more people telecommuted that day, Westover said.
To accommodate increased demand resulting from the BART strike, the ferry service deployed all available vessels, implemented special schedules, extended service hours and provided for onsite (off boat) ticket sales at some locations, according to the ferry service website.
BART is the nation’s fifth-largest commuter rail system and has an average weekday ridership of 400,000.
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