A quick remark on the slow posting around here lately: I am now in the middle of a several-week period of time that has been one of the personal busiest and most stressful periods in recent memory. There are several posts and news developments that I have been wanting to write about, but there has just been literally no time to blog. My apologies for the erratic schedule. Things will probably continue to be slow here for a couple weeks, and there will probably have to be a similar “hiatus” in December, as well. During that time, I will try to catch up on queued posts as I can, albeit a bit sporadically. I appreciate your patience.
For now, just a quick update. As you know, the weekday commute shutdown of the Bay Bridge that we just narrowly avoided on the first Tuesday after Labor Day finally caught up to us when the Bay Bridge was shut down for emergency repairs, and we are now on the second consecutive workday without this critical regional link. I suspect that while some people may have stayed at home yesterday, more will find that to be difficult a second day in a row, so the crowds on transit and the freeways may have worsened somewhat as compared to Wednesday. In any event, here is a traffic snapshot, depicting the state of the Bay Area’s freeways around 6:20 p.m. on the night of October 28, the first day of bridge closure:
Courtesy of Google Maps.
We also have a new BART ridership record, that gives us a preview of what it will be like to ride BART in the future, when higher fuel prices, increased population, and an outward-bound expansion policy all put additional strain on the system’s core bottlenecks, which are begging for increased capacity.
On Wednesday, October 28, BART set a record of 437,200 riders. However, the very next day, BART surpassed that to set its new historical record: 442,000 riders on Thursday, October 29. Both counts outpace the last record of 405,400 riders set on September 8, 2008, when many sports fans headed for Raiders and Giants games mingled with weekday commuters. On Wednesday, there was a 53% increase in transbay riderhip (253,400 total transbay riders), and system-wide ridership increased 26% as compared to normal conditions.
Even by Thursday morning, it was looked like BART would set a higher record that day — in light of the fact that transbay ridership this morning has been 60% higher than normal — as compared to Wednesday morning, where transbay ridership was 49% higher than normal. Also, system-wide morning ridership was 29% higher than normal today, as compared to 24% higher than a normal morning on Wednesday. On Thursday, ridership across the system was 24% higher than normal, and there were 260,600 total transbay riders (57% higher than normal).
Check back later, as I will continue to update this post with ridership statistics throughout the duration of the bridge closure.