SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Bay Area Rapid Transit reported two days in a row of record ridership since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, as rising gas prices and the continued reopening of offices prompt more people to use transit.
According to the agency's Ridership Watch website, a record 136,769 people used BART on Wednesday, which is 33% of budget projections of a March weekday pre-pandemic. On Thursday, ridership broke another record with 138,794 passengers, or 34% of projections.
In a tweet touting the record ridership, the agency noted the number of available weekday trains, how often fresh air circulates inside a train and the system's reliance on clean energy.
"More riders are returning to BART," the agency tweeted. "Fill up on public transit today!"
The agency has been seeing steady growth in the month of March as the pandemic eases and with gas prices soaring in recent weeks. Ridership records were also broken on March 10 and 11, along with March 17 and 18, which were also Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Before the March ridership records, the last time BART ridership broke a pandemic record was before the omicron variant surge. On December 8, 2021, the agency reported 125,488 riders, or about 32% of pre-pandemic projections.
According to the agency, the highest ever ridership day on BART was on October 31, 2012, when 568,061 exits were reported that day. Leading up to the record were people celebrating Halloween and San Francisco Giants fans attending the team's parade after their victory in that year's World Series.
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