BART is expecting record ridership to both San Francisco (SFO) and Oakland International (OAK) airports during the Thanksgiving holiday travel period. Between the Wednesday before Thanksgiving through the Monday after, BART expects 50,000 passengers or 8% more people this year over last year to ride BART to and from SFO. During the same time period BART is also predicting 29,000 passengers, or 3% more this year versus last year, to ride the AirBART shuttle between the Coliseum/Oakland Airport Station and OAK.
LAST YEAR'S RIDERSHIP RECORD NUMBERS
Passengers have set ridership records to SFO during the Thanksgiving holiday travel season in each year since the SFO Station opened in 2003. In 2003, approximately 36,400 passengers took BART to SFO between the Wednesday before Thanksgiving through the Monday afterward. During the same time period the numbers increased to 41,500 passengers in 2004, 43,800 passengers in 2005 and 45,960 riders in 2006. AirBART shuttle ridership continues to climb between the Wednesday before Thanksgiving through the Monday afterward. In 2004, 23,200 passengers used the shuttle to get to and from OAK. In 2005, the number climbed to 26,800 and in 2006 ridership rose to 28,615.
WHY THE RIDERSHIP INCREASE?
BART officials attribute the increase in ridership to BART's low cost, high frequency service, its new West Bay long-term parking program, three new airlines servicing SFO and BART's 96% passenger on-time record.
Officials believe more and more people have discovered taking BART not only helps them avoid the Bay Area's gridlocked traffic it also helps them save on the high costs of long-term parking and gas. In fact, a BART ride from Downtown San Francisco to SFO costs $5.15. The average taxi ride costs between $27 and $37. For service to Oakland Airport, the AirBART shuttle costs $3.00.
BOOK EARLY FOR AIRPORT PARKING IN EAST BAY
BART has doubled the number of spots in its lot its set aside for long term and airport parking. Riders can avoid the high cost of airport parking by reserving a long term parking space at $5/day at any East Bay BART parking lots, excluding West Oakland, Union City, Coliseum/Oakland Airport and Lake Merritt stations. West Bay stations with available Airport/Long Term parking are Colma, South San Francisco, San Bruno and Millbrae. Parking permits at West Bay stations cost $6/day.
BART officials advise you to get your permit quickly as they are selling rapidly.
To take advantage of the long-term parking offer, riders should book early by reserving a permit securely online. Permits are not available at stations. First-time customers can learn how to purchase a ticket by watching Malou Nubla's segment on BARTtv News.