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BART ridership to airport fails to take off

BART ridership to airport fails to take off

Old Jul 7, 06, 10:48 pm
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Post BART ridership to airport fails to take off

Three years after the extension opened, ridership is nowhere near what BART officials had hoped. The route is losing money, and BART is embroiled in a funding fight with another Peninsula transit agency.

Prior to construction, BART projected there would be 17,800 average daily boardings to and from the airport by the year 2010. During the first year of operation that began in 2003, there were 5,864 daily boardings, the second year 6,675, and the third year 7,116. While there has been ridership growth -- 14 percent after the first year and 7 percent after the second -- it's unlikely the 2010 projection will be met.

Likewise, ridership to and from the three other stations on the airport extension route -- in South San Francisco, San Bruno and Millbrae -- have not met expectations since opening at the same time.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...&feed=rss.news
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Old Jul 7, 06, 10:57 pm
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Well, too late now.... it's not like they'll shut down the leg to SFO, right?

I'll be doing my part to keep the numbers up soon. ^
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Old Jul 7, 06, 11:03 pm
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Originally Posted by tom911
Three years after the extension opened, ridership is nowhere near what BART officials had hoped. The route is losing money, and BART is embroiled in a funding fight with another Peninsula transit agency.

Prior to construction, BART projected there would be 17,800 average daily boardings to and from the airport by the year 2010. During the first year of operation that began in 2003, there were 5,864 daily boardings, the second year 6,675, and the third year 7,116. While there has been ridership growth -- 14 percent after the first year and 7 percent after the second -- it's unlikely the 2010 projection will be met.

Likewise, ridership to and from the three other stations on the airport extension route -- in South San Francisco, San Bruno and Millbrae -- have not met expectations since opening at the same time.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...&feed=rss.news

I feel that the reason the ridership is so low is because of a few factors.

Frequency, cost, and Facilities.

Frequency- As a Southbay rider, I do take Bart, however I do not appreciate the fact it takes 1.5+ hours to arrive at the airport (have to transfer). If they had direct trains with more frequency, I will take it more.

Cost- From Fremont station to SFO, it costs north of 10 USD. If I am travelling with a friend or two, there is no need for me to take BART. It's faster and cheaper to take a shuttle.

Facilities- Lets face it, BART wasn't designed to be air traveller friendly. My luggage gets caught on all the cracks, most if not all stations do not have automatic doors, many stations also do not have esclators and the elevators aren't always clearly marked. I can't even make it through the turnstiles with my large luggage. SFO has the only traveller friendly station where they have turnstiles that allow luggage in the entire system. It doesn't get any better on the train, there is no place to put your luggage, the and they are always dirty.

I still take BART, but many people I know do not becuase of the aforementioned issues.

Edit - Forgot, unlike KL and HK, they do not have anywhere to put the luggage.....BART please add luggage racks.

Last edited by party_boy; Jul 7, 06 at 11:16 pm
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Old Jul 7, 06, 11:07 pm
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Well, what they did was make only 1 line go into the airport - one that runs only once every 20 minutes. So no matter where you are coming from, no matter the time of day, you run the risk of a 20 minute wait for a train. During off-peak hours, it would take me 3 trains to get to SFO. During off-peak hours, I can be PARKED at the Park'n'fly in 25 mins. Or home from there. The RT BART fare is $11.40. I just checked the online trip planner and a midday weekday trip would be 1:02 from station to station. Add a short drive on the home end, with parking issues, or a 20 minute walk, with luggage, and well, this is why I have never taken BART to the airport. I'd have to allow a MINIMUM of 1:30 for the trip.
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Old Jul 7, 06, 11:09 pm
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I took BART last Friday night from SFO to the end of the line in Pleasanton and was surprised how empty it was. It was a nine-car train, so I decided to ride in the first car. The most crowded it got was between the Civic Center and the MacArthur station in the East Bay, but even then there was no standing.

BART works for me because I am either going to/from work in the Financial District or out to the East Bay. Sorry to hear things are not going well; greater frequency of the trains would be nice.
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Old Jul 7, 06, 11:11 pm
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With bus and BART fare from here, it's about $9 one way. I won't use BART for a 2-3 day trip, but if I'm gone over that it makes sense, compared to $9 a day parking off property at SFO. I'll be using them for Vancouver/Victoria next month which is an 8 day trip.
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Old Jul 7, 06, 11:12 pm
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They could have done better

Here are 2 things they could do to increase ridership.

Firstly they should add a few cars on each airport train that are equipped with luggage racks...there are none now.

Secondly they should allow long term parking in their various lots, or at least contract out with a nearby parking lot to allow for this.

These two steps would probably increase ridership by a fair amount.
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Old Jul 7, 06, 11:14 pm
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I've used BART from SFO to the Eastbay a few times.... I think it is easy to use, inexpensive, and fairly reliable. The only problem I see with it is travel time. It is too bad that the ridership isn't greater. Perhaps, when the gas begins it's climb up again, more will ride.
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Old Jul 7, 06, 11:16 pm
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Originally Posted by FlyinHawaiian
greater frequency of the trains would be nice.
BART had to scale back because San Mateo County's share of costs was getting too high. Originally they were running 10 car trains from Pittsburg/Concord to SFO, but to reduce electricity costs they dropped down to shorter trains from Dublin/Pleasanton for those last few stations. There was discussion earlier this year about closing down some of the San Mateo County stations on the weekends, but I don't think that ever happened. It's just a very expensive system to run.
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Old Jul 7, 06, 11:17 pm
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Would provding a few limited-stop trains help?
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Old Jul 7, 06, 11:20 pm
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Originally Posted by travelinmanS
Secondly they should allow long term parking in their various lots, or at least contract out with a nearby parking lot to allow for this.
That's already in place. Quite a few of their lots offer long term parking for $5 a day (but not all of them- only 26 stations in the East Bay).

http://www.bart.gov/guide/parking/longTerm.asp
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Old Jul 7, 06, 11:22 pm
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Originally Posted by IceTrojan
Would provding a few limited-stop trains help?
Not really, as there is no extra track to bypass trains ahead of you. It's basically a two-track system. The only limited service I can think of was for the recent CalTrans closure of the Bay Bridge, and for the early morning trains for Bay to Breakers, where they serve a handful of selected stations.
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Old Jul 7, 06, 11:27 pm
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When I took the BART into SF from Oakland airport in January it was packed. Anyone who rode the same late, over-capacity shuttle to the BART station I did would agree that catching the BART from SFO is much nicer.

The big difference I think is that OAK is in the middle of the system, and served by many lines. If BART wants more South Bay and SFO riders, they need more options. As previous posters mentioned there is is often a wait for a train and a transfer involved. More frequency and possibly more lines would help. Also, my understanding is that they will be extending BART down the Pennisula. If this is true, this will do a lot to increase ridership.

_m
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Old Jul 7, 06, 11:31 pm
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I've looked into taking public transportation to SFO from the South Bay and have been sadly disappointed each time.

My trip would involve a cab or leaving my car at the Caltrain station ($); A Caltrain ticket to Milbrae ($); then onto Bart ($).... by the time one goes through all this, it's just waayyyy to much trouble and hardly worth the cost differential - especially for 2.

Now, in the East Bay, there are parking lots where you can drive to the Bart station and leave your car overnight. Not so on the Peninsula. According to a Rep at Bart, this was a move by the airlines because they didn't want to lose the revenue created by pax parking at the airport, (or presumably the kickbacks they get from the shuttle services??).

It's interesting to note though, I've never seen Bart promote service to SFO. Maybe if they did a couple of t.v. spots or newspaper ads they might encourage some ridership (again though, imho, it's really a much better service for those originating from the East Bay rather than the Peninsula).

As for me, I'd be willing to take it if it was more cost effective and convenient but it's not so I won't.

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Old Jul 7, 06, 11:32 pm
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I think any "new" service/routes are going to be a long way off, particularly with government cutbacks of transit funding. When I worked at BART, only 48% of their revenue came from the fare box, with the rest being from taxes, grants, and the like. They would literally have to double their fares to fund current service without all the subsidies they get.

OAK was going to run light rail out to BART and get rid of that shuttle bus, but I'm not sure where they are with that (probably years out and still in planning stages if I had to guess). I remember reading an article that it was in the works.
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