Bay Bridge Traffic Creeping Back to Near Normal, but Public Transit Patronage Stays Low

3 mins read

In March, the government issued stay-home orders as the Covid-19 pandemic enters the state. Bay Bridge traffic at the onset of the pandemic was down by 60 percent, and about 56,000 passing per day. In recent months, the traffic is down only about 15 percent and about 119,000 crossings per day.

October 31, 2020, on the Bay Bridge, metering lights are more and more often. Traffic is nearly as bad as ever it was, which had been down by as much as sixty percent from the days of the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, Randy Rentschler provides traffic updates on the Carquinez Bridge. He said, “Bay Bridge traffic is slowly and steadily creeping back.”

Bay Bridge records 140,000 crossings a day in each direction before the pandemic spreads out. In March, the start of the COVID-19 and the issued stay-home order, traffic was down by sixty percent, to about 56,000 crossings per day.

Randy Rentschler said that in recent days starting from mid-October, Bay Bridge traffic is down only about fifty percent, 119,000 passing per day. Carquinez Bridge is down only about five percent from pre-pandemic levels.

More business and offices reopening that’s why there is an increase in traffic. Passengers and commuters to return in public transit, however, ridership continues to be extremely low. Caltrain and BART stations remain down 85 to 95 percent.

The agency reported that BART Station has recorded a ridership of about 55,360, on Thursday. It is down to 87 percent from the pre-pandemic level of 440,000. BART stations process routine car cleaning, longer, and more frequent trains, mandatory implementation of mask usage has largely failed to win back the trust of commuters and passengers, according to the data regarding ridership.

Rand Rentschler aid, “People are reluctant to get into a shared space, and for good reason. We expect passengers to go back to their cars.”

Further reports show that other Bay Area bridges are seeing slower increases in traffic. The San Mateo Bridge is down 30 percent, and the Dumbarton Bridge remains down 40 percent, Rand Rentschler said. The continuous closure of Silicon Valley tech business has seen to be the reason for lighter traffic on those bridges, traffic expert’s suspects. Golden Gate Bridge traffic is down about 35 percent.

Thomas Lake

Resident tech nerd for the SF Times.

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