Trains lengthened in response to increased ridership
BART ridership is growing even faster than the District's planners anticipated so BART has just begun adding more cars to some rush hour trains serving downtown San Francisco and Oakland stations as well as those cities' airports.
"This is just one step, a big step though, in our commitment to make BART more customer friendly," said BART Board President Carole Ward Allen. "Our goal is to reward our loyal riders and make our new riders feel welcome."
BART is adding cars to every line serving San Francisco stations during the rush hour, although the length of each train will vary from line to line, except on the Dublin/Pleasanton Line, which serves both the San Francisco and Oakland International Airports. All trains on this line will be nine cars long. A nine-car train can comfortably seat about 600 passengers.
BART routinely adjusts the length of trains to meet the demands of ridership.
RIDERSHIP OUTPACING PREDICTED GROWTH
BART's average ridership each weekday between February 1 through February 16, 2006 was approximately 326,500 passengers Â– or nearly 11,000 more passengers each weekday than BART's planners were forecasting when they put the annual budget together last year. As a point of fact, it would take more than seven fully loaded 10 car trains to carry 11,000 passengers.
Not only is the 326,500 weekday ridership figure 11,000 higher than what BART's budget planners were predicting for this year, it's also about 16,500 passengers higher than during the same time period in 2005.
WHY RIDERSHIP IS GROWING
BART officials attribute the increase in ridership to BART's low cost, high frequency service as well as its 95% passenger on-time record. Officials believe more people have discovered taking BART not only helps them bypass the Bay Area's gridlocked traffic, it also helps them save on the high cost of gasoline. Passengers pay 20 cents per mile on BART while a 2005 American Automobile Association study found drivers pay 69 cents per mile Â– and that doesn't include bridge tolls, parking fees or the recent increase in gas prices.