Wednesday, November 3, 2010

BART Sees Record Travel for Giants Parade; Happy Fans, Tailgate Parties Crowd into System Stations

We’re always looking for instances when rail transit is what the doctor ordered for the public, and here’s one close to our Giants-lovin’ heart (witness our license plate).

The Bay Area Rapit Transit (BART) system set what could be an all-time ridership record today by moving more than 400,000 people to, from and around the San Francisco Giants’ World Series Championship parade and rally. Still others rode their bikes to the rally.

And here's a new one on us: According to SFBart’s Blog, fans held tailgate parties in BART stations as they turned the BART experience into a day-long happy-time event. Check out a video.

Daily ridership is rebounding this year from an economy-induced dip, and the average weekday ridership is around 350,000. A final tally won’t be available until tomorrow, but today’s parade may have just broken the record of 442,000 riders set on October 29, 2009 during a Bay Bridge emergency closure. (Next-day follow-up: a new record indeed was set: 522,000.)

See, Dr. P? Despite your disinclination to believe it, transit can be exceptionally beneficial during a freeway closure.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for doing this blog. Have you more detailed information on how rail is paid for and how much has already been covered through GET? Also been told construction jobs generated by rail won't be high-paying and that all the good jobs will be exported out to the mainland. Have you commented on these issues? If not, hope you will. I am a long-time bus rider and wholeheartedly support rail.

Anonymous said...

What leads you to believe construction jobs generated by rail won't be high-paying and why all good jobs will be exported? Minus the rail tracks, rail cars, and control systems, what is so different about the elevated structure and stations from your typical hotel/office/condo project we see daily?

Doug Carlson said...

Two Anonymouses to respond to, but I'll give it a try. Anonymous 2 catches my reaction to Anonymous 1 pretty well. And I'll go farther by saying Honolulu rail is not a jobs project. Certainly jobs will be created, and we can't know for sure how many and which types will be filled by local people. Maybe all of them will be.

But rail really is about restoring mobility that's been lost in this city. It's a mobility project that will deliver dividends long long after the last construction worker leaves the job. Other kinds of jobs will be filled going forward throughout this century -- everyone working to sustain the mobility this community will enjoy for generations.