BART gearing up for massive crowd during Warriors parade

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- BART is bracing for a massive crowd Thursday for the Golden State Warriors parade and is warning commuters to leave early for work and buy tickets in advance to avoid long lines.

The Warriors parade is expected to affect many commuting Thursday morning, especially on the Pittsburg and Fremont lines.

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BART officials said last time, 1 million people came to Oakland for the Warriors parade. They said this year, they've heard it could be 1.5 million up to 2 million spectators, so they are bracing for a record-setting day.

Riders going to the parade are advised to not use the Lake Merritt station because many trains will bypass it for overcrowding reasons. Instead, BART suggests using the 19th or 12th Street stations. BART also advises parade goers to buy their tickets or Clipper card in advance because lines may be extremely long.

Most importantly for morning commuters who are not going to the parade, BART advised leaving for work before 7 a.m. or risk being in the crunch.

Nine trains on the Pittsburg line will be removed from service on Thursday morning to accommodate crowds on other routes. Also half the trains coming from Fremont will not go to San Francisco, but instead will divert to downtown Oakland and the MacArthur station, and then turn around and go back to Fremont.

BART is doing extra prep work on escalators Tuesday to accommodate the capacity crowds expected.

The inconveniences will start Wednesday at 2 p.m. for AC Transit riders as six lines will be rerouted, and when the parade begins 19 lines will be rerouted around downtown Oakland. "So what we're truly asking riders to do, is build more time into your day, so that you get to where you need to be on time," a BART spokesperson said.

By the Thursday night commute, BART expects trains to be running back to normal.

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