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Parking Battle Begins Early At Antioch BART Station

ANTIOCH (CBS SF) -- The popularity of BART's extension to Antioch has quickly outgrown its limited parking lot.

Initially, BART officials estimated the line would handle nearly 2300 riders a day, but the number of passengers has far exceeded those estimates. The ridership boom has overwhelmed the station's parking capacity, forcing riders to come in the early morning hours to secure an elusive spot.

"I get here from 3 a.m. to 3:30 a.m. just to find parking close to the front," Andrew Gutierrez told KPIX 5.

Antioch Mayor Sean Wright said he saw the problem brewing from the early planning stages when the lot was set at 1,000 spaces. His concerns were downplayed by BART officials.

"There's no reason to gloat," said Wright of his prediction that has become a reality. "The gloating doesn't do anything. Let's fix this and let's move on. Let's learn how to look at these things in the future, better than we did in the past."

BART Spokeswoman Anna Duckworth said the transit agency is a victim of its own success.

"I would say that we are almost a victim of our own success in this case because we did not anticipate that the ridership would so far exceed those forecast numbers before the extension opened," she said.

According to Duckworth, funds were limited for the construction of the parking lot.

"It costs $20,000 per space for an asphalt lot that we were planning to build," she said. "If we want to do a parking garage, it's $40,000 to $50,000 per space. So it costs a lot of money to build parking, and parking structures, and it just wasn't in the initial budget."

And relief will not be arriving anytime soon. BART just for $16 million to build another 800 spots but the project will take two years to complete

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