BART's all-time ridership record was broken Wednesday with 568,061 exits reported, among them fans attending the San Francisco Giants World Series victory parade, Halloween revelers, and people relying on BART for their everyday trips to work, school and other activities.
It was the highest ridership in BART's 40 years of service, easily passing the old record of 522,198 exits, which was set on Nov. 3, 2010, the day of the Giants victory parade after they won the World Series that year. (This year's parade day had 45,863 more exits in all.)
Compared to a typical October Wednesday, the Oct. 31, 2012, ridership represents a whopping 40% increase."This was a tremendous and exciting day for BART and the Bay Area," Board President John McPartland said. "We can't thank our passengers enough for being patient and helping make the day a success."
BART beefed up staffing and deployed every train available to accommodate crowds. Rush hour service was used the entire day with extra event trains travelling the entire system to help carry passengers into the city and then home.
Ticket sale tables were set up at high volume stations to help speed up ticket purchasing. About 100 extra BART employees in yellow vests were stationed throughout the system to help with crowd control and to assist passengers. BART Police had extra patrol and extra train technicians were also on hand just in case.
"Safety and crowd control was our top priority," McPartland said. "BART staff diligently managed passenger flow especially at our downtown San Francisco stations to avoid overcrowded platforms. So far, today was a great example of the power and efficiency of public transportation. That is something worth celebrating," McPartland said.
For more on how and why the Bay Area relied on BART, watch BARTtv coverage of the parade at www.bart.gov/barttv.
Updated 12:24 pm to clarify BART official ridership reporting methodology, which refers to exits rather than riders.
Updated: November 1, 2012, 9:58 am