Issue:  Vol. 47 / No. 50 / 14 December 2017
 

BART nixes opening early for SF Pride Sunday, will increase service throughout the day

BARTmobile_SF PRIDE webUnlike last year, the Bay Area’s regional transit agency will be opening its stations at their normal time at 8 a.m. this Sunday, which is the annual Pride parade and celebration in San Francisco.

East Bay LGBT leaders in years past had asked that BART open sooner that day for people who need to be in the city to attend early morning events.

But BART’s pilot program in 2016 of opening several stations at 7 a.m. for those traveling to the LGBT celebration from Alameda and Contra Costa counties turned out to be a dud.

“Staff decided that it wasn’t successful enough last year,” BART board president Rebecca Saltzman told the Bay Area Reporter this week in response to questions.

Saltzman, a lesbian who lives in Oakland, told the B.A.R. that the agency will be running more trains throughout the day as it has done in years past to accommodate the crowds. Pride Sunday is usually one of the transit agency’s busiest days of ridership.

“There is going to be increased service throughout the day as really we have had every year,” she said. “There are plans for extensive train service.”

In 2014 BART’s usual plans to add more trains to handle the Pride crowds failed to be executed due to an inexperienced employee being in charge that day. Saltzman, who happened to be out of town that year, was flooded with angry phone calls and messages regarding the overcrowding.

Ever since then she has worked with BART staff to ensure the problem doesn’t occur again. As the agency noted in a June 15 posting to its website, “On Sunday, June 25, BART will increase the amount and length of trains to imitate Saturday service and weekday commute-length trains. We will open at 8am.”

This year BART is also trying a new tactic and encouraging people headed to Pride to schedule their trips during less crowded times.

DCzQVzyXUAAAekqThe agency, via its social media accounts, has posted suggested times when it is less crowded on Pride Sunday based on its ridership data from years past. Saltzman noted that 9 a.m. sees less crowds while one of the busiest hours is 11 a.m., right after the parade kicks off at 10:30 a.m.

“BART did, for the first time this year, we put out when the crowding is happening, so people who want to avoid the crowding can go at a different time of day,” said Saltzman. “It is meant to help people who don’t want to deal with very crowded trains.”

The agency is also advising passengers headed to the festivities to use BART’s mobile website to check train departure times and other service related information.

“The service will not match our published schedules because of the additions,” noted the agency. “To avoid long lines at ticket machines, purchase a round-trip ticket beforehand or use a pre-loaded Clipper card.”

 

— Matthew S. Bajko, June 21, 2017 @ 10:17 am PST
Filed under: Uncategorized


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