SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A big electronic sign is posted at the entrance to the Millbrae BART station paved parking lot, warning passengers that starting Friday at 9 p.m., the parking lot will be permanently closed.
It is roughly 300 spots or about 10 percent of the available parking at the station.
It is being done to make way for the Millbrae Transit Center, which will be built on the site. The new center will include 400 apartments, 100 of which will be for low-income tenants, as well as some stores.
Jack Larratt is one of thousands who use the Millbrae BART station to get to work, and who now has to add competing for parking on his way to work.
"I normally come later, so I use the back lot parking lot. But now that will be full, so I will have to figure out a way to get over," says Larratt, who lives in Burlingame.
One of the reasons the Millbrae station is so popular is because of the number of parking spots it has. There are 2,100 spaces in the garage and 900 in paved lots.
As an alternative to parking at the Millbrae station, Caltrain says it usually has 100 open parking spots at their Broadway Station where passengers can park and take a free shuttle to Millbrae BART.
Caltrain is also coordinating with BART to establish single-day, reserved permits for parking at the Millbrae BART garage.
The passengers' reaction has been mixed.
Louie Valdez rides BART to work. He knows parking is a premium, but he likes the idea of a transit village. He says the area needs more housing and hopes those who live there will use more public transportation.
"It's going to bring more housing availability for people who do need it, it is very expensive on the Peninsula, especially. So overall, I think it's going to be positive," says Valdez.
Daniel Mazahreh gets to the Millbrae station early so he doesn't have to deal with parking issues. He says he understands the need for more housing, but not at the expense of taking away parking at a BART station, where parking is already in high demand, and with few options to park elsewhere.
"I don't support it because you can see how crowded the parking space becomes, especially during like, afternoon or 11 a.m. I did commute BART around 11 a.m. one time and it gets pretty crowded, it doesn't meet the demand," says Mazarrah.
During construction, more spots could be closed off temporarily until the project is completed by 2023. Part of the first floor of the BART parking garage will also be closed as crews construct a new passenger loading zone.
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