There were 8,000 to 8,500 more riders on BART trains this morning than on Veterans Day last year, BART spokesman Linton Johnson said.
Johnson said the influx of riders was primarily due to a standoff between authorities and 51-year-old Craig Carlos-Valentino, of Antioch, on the western span of the bridge.
Carlos-Valentino was eventually arrested, but the standoff shut down the upper deck of the bridge from about 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., and commuters were urged to take public transit.
The saga on the bridge may have confused commuters, some of whom called BART saying they had heard train service would be free today, Johnson said.
"It was a fair number of calls, complaining that the radio is saying one thing, and we're not letting them in for free," he said.
Johnson said he did not know if any media had actually said BART would be free, but said the confusion might have stemmed from the fact that commuters who had already paid to cross the bridge on partnering transit agencies, such as AC Transit, would not have to pay to use BART instead.