150 Extra SF Bus Trips–More Than 12,500 Extra Riders– During BART Crisis
AC Transit buses made 150 extra trips– and carried more than 12,500 extra passengers– to and from San Francisco in response to a fire that a shutdown of the West Oakland BART station and idled transbay trains.
On very short notice, the agency ramped up its bus service to quickly support the regional effort to maintain service for thousands of commuters faced with no way to get to and from San Francisco.
The supplemental bus service provided vital connections to several key BART stations throughout the day, but especially during the morning and afternoon rush hours. The buses carried a total of 23, 410 riders– which is 12, 656 more daily passenger than usual.
“It was a tall order to first understand what needed to be done and then come up with a good strategy for doing it,’’ said AC Transit General Manager David Armijo. “ To re-arrange our entire service in way to get extra buses to alleviate the transbay crisis without severely hampering the rest of our system was extremely challenging. I thank staff for rising to the occasion.”
In addition to the buses and carefully crafted route changes, the agency’s customer service call center responded to over 1,017 calls requesting assistance, compared to the 300 calls the center normally handles each day. Also, road supervisors and other staff provided customer information to thousands of other riders who were displaced from their normal BART routine and unfamiliar with bus services.
To minimize boarding delays and hasten the overall commute, fares were not collected for any of the transbay riders.
Meanwhile, employees throughout the agency worked promptly to update the website and to participate with the Emergency Call Center, collectively mitigating a potentially devastating disruption of BART service.
By 4 pm, BART service was back on line and the agency’s transbay bus service returned to normal by 6 pm.
“It was a great job of working fast and working together, “ said AC Transit Board President Elsa Ortiz. “ We took effective steps to meet the required demand.”