BART commuters inconvenienced by bridge failure

on October 28, 2009

At 5 pm Wednesday the trains at El Cerrito Del Norte BART Station were packed full of commuters getting back from work. People using the BART said the closing of the Bay Bridge had been a huge inconvenience.

One worker recounted the morning’s commute. “It was a mess,” said Thomas Ruiz, 40. “I could hardly fit in the train this morning.” He knew people that were late because they didn’t know about the closure and were turned away at the bridge. They had to go back and take the BART.

During the first day of the closure, people were unsure how long it was going to take them to get to work. Many Richmond residents had to leave home earlier to make sure they would arrive on time to work.

Carlos Gomez, 53, a custodian working in San Francisco, said, “It’s costing me more time. Now I have to add two extra hours to my commute time.” He was waiting for the train at the Richmond BART station. “This is hard if you have something to do and can’t come an hour early.”

A Chevron refinery worker, Raphael Castro 45, usually drives from Daly City to Richmond but had to add 30 minutes to his commute because he took the BART.

Not only are commuters spending more time, they are also spending more money. Ryan Bullock, a 20-year-old actor living in Stockton, had to spend an extra ten dollars transferring through Richmond. “I had to go to Richmond first and then take the BART to San Francisco to work. And it takes me an extra hour. ”

Even before morning rush hour people had a hard time finding a seat on the train. Dennis Nepomuceno, 31, a financial consultant who lives in Hercules but works in San Francisco said, “The parking lot at the El Cerrito del Norte BART was full this morning. The people on the BART doubled. Every seat was taken.”

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