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BART SFO ridership up while ridership at Millbrae remains poor

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    Published Wednesday, January 3, 2007, by the San Mateo County Times Airport BART ridership hits new record Number of users still lower than agency wants By
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 3, 2007
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      Published Wednesday, January 3, 2007, by the San Mateo County Times

      Airport BART ridership hits new record
      Number of users still lower than agency wants

      By Erik N. Nelson
      Staff Writer

      After years of disappointing ridership, BART's extension to San
      Francisco International Airport saw its best ridership ever during
      Christmas week, the transit agency announced Tuesday.

      Nearly 52,000 riders exited or entered BART from Dec. 21 through Dec.
      27, a 4.5 percent increase over the same period in 2005 and 29
      percent higher than the airport station's first Christmas in 2003.

      BART board member Tom Radulovich pointed out that connecting BART to
      the airport has always been successful. Attracting daily commuters
      is another story.

      "It certainly is good news that the airport station is bringing more
      riders," he said. But the extension's terminus at Millbrae, which was
      supposed to provide half the extension's ridership, "is the one that
      has been dragging the extension down."

      Currently, the extension into San Mateo County, which is not part
      of the special taxation district that created the transit system,
      operates at a loss and requires a subsidy for about one-fourth of
      its operating expenses. San Mateo County officials bought into the
      BART system relying on estimates that showed an operating profit.

      While airport travelers have steadily warmed to the idea of "flying
      BART to SFO," as the system's ads encourage, commuters do not
      transfer from Caltrain's commuter rail service or leave their cars
      behind at nearly the numbers predicted.


      Contact Erik Nelson at enelson@... or at (510) 208-6410.
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