BART set a ridership record on Monday, carrying 405,400 riders including many sports fans attending games of the Oakland Raiders and San Francisco Giants.
BART Board President Gail Murray said the record day demonstrates why California lawmakers working on the state budget should make transit funding a priority.
"We’re now carrying record numbers of people on an ever aging system and we’ve got to increase funding to keep up," said Murray, noting that BART will mark 36 years of service on Thursday. "Now is not the time to cut transit funding, a time when more people are using BART and yet the equipment is aging."
Much of BART’s train equipment is near the end of its useful lifespan. BART needs to replace its fleet with 700 new rail cars, a purchase that will cost approximately $2.5 billion in today’s dollars. BART is working hard to secure funding for the replacement.
"The bottom line is lawmakers should not approve the up to $50 million in cuts to BART the Governor has proposed in this budget cycle," Murray said.
The two big sporting events Monday night, coupled with the normal work commute, prompted the ridership surge. BART set a ridership record to its Coliseum/Oakland Airport Station as nearly 25,000 fans used the trains to watch the Oakland Raiders vs. Denver Broncos game at McAfee Coliseum. Tens of thousands of other fans used BART to get to the San Francisco Giants vs. Arizona Diamondbacks game.
The previous highest-ridership day was on Thursday, June 19, 2008, when BART carried 394,370 riders on a Spare the Air Day.