Ferry ridership soars during BART strike

July 2, 2013 12:27:45 PM PDT
Long lines at the ferry terminal at Jack London Square marked day two of the BART strike. The ferries picked up the slack commuters who decided to skip the roadways; taking on triple the regular number of riders.

Hundreds of people arrived an hour before the first boat for the ride across the Bay. Some people said they might be permanently making the switch from BART. The downside for some is money.

"Because, you have to pay for parking which is four dollars and then you have to pay for the round-trip ticket. It's $6.25 each way so it's twice-as-much money as I would pay catching BART," said Theresa Smith of Oakland.

One woman heading to South San Francisco says the ferry is cleaner and faster than BART.

"I think even when the strike is resolved, I think, we won't go back to BART. I think this is a better experience and also, our company reimburses us," said Heather Runes of Oakland.

San Francisco Bay Ferry serviced 18,000 riders Monday. On a typical weekday, that number would be 6,000. The company is using all 11 of its boats. Golden Gate Ferry is chipping in with an extra boat that can carry 400 people.

"It's a day-by-day thing. We're going to be here tomorrow and the next day as long as the public needs us," said San Francisco Bay Ferry spokesperson Ernest Sanchez.

The Fourth of July holiday is Thursday and some ferries will switch to a special holiday schedule. Commuters should check the schedule before heading out. Parking at ferry terminals is limited. People are encouraged to try to car pool or get dropped off.


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