Monday, October 15, 2012

BART ridership up in October

The number of people riding San Francisco-area's Bay Area Rapid Transit is soaring this month.

"BART is once again proving to be the backbone of the Bay Area public transportation system," said BART Board President John McPartland. "Not only are hundreds of thousands of people relying on BART to get them to work or school safely and reliably, but more people are choosing BART as a convenient and cost effective way to travel to recreational activities."

The weekend of October 6-7 was BART's busiest ever. On Saturday, October 6, 319,484 people took BART, surpassing the previous Saturday/Sunday record of 278,586 set in 2007.

Because 70.5 percent of BART's operating funds come from fare-paying passengers, higher ridership means a much healthier bottom line.

"The increased revenue from our increasing ridership allows BART to expand our service to help meet the demand, within the constraints posed by our aging fleet and train control system," said BART Board President Vice President Tom Radulovich. "For example, this past weekend we ran 54 extra train trips on Saturday. On Sunday, which is typically our lightest service day, our service was much more robust, more like a typical Saturday. Last month, we extended direct Richmond-San Francisco-Millbrae service into the weekday evening hours. We are also reinvesting the fare dollars we earn from growing ridership into customer improvements like the new, easier-to-clean seats and floors, better maintenance and other projects which improve safety, cleanliness, reliability and comfort."

On weekdays, BART is using about 86 percent of its fleet of rail cars, among the highest percentage of use of any transit agency in the nation, according to BART. The remaining 14 percent are undergoing repairs or improvements, such as the interior modifications, which create more space, cleaner flooring and better air circulation.

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