MTC picking up tab for Bay Bridge closure
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Bay Area transit agencies pulled together a last-minute plan to move commuters after several parts of the Bay Bridge came crashing down Tuesday evening. Many are wondering how much everything is going to cost and who is going to pay for it.
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The Metropolitan Transportation Committee says they will pick up the tab and has promised to make everyone whole. The money will likely come from additional ridership and the extra money collected at the tolls Wednesday.
During the morning commute, the cost of doing that is expected to be a wash since ridership was up 25 percent
"Hopefully you get more revenue than the actual costs of increasing service," said BART Chief Spokesman Linton Johnson.
During the commute hours, East Bay ferries ran every 30 minutes instead of every hour. Two boats had to be added to the Alameda-Oakland ferry line, costing between $18,000 and $20,000. For the evening commute, there will be an additional boat on the Alameda-Harbor Bay ferry line at the cost of $5,000.
On the Golden Gate Bridge, a few toll booth collectors came in early Wednesday at 4:00 to deal with the extra traffic. Mary Currie of Golden Gate Transit says the cost of overtime was minimal. Still, an extra Golden Gate ferry boat was added making one trip.
The cost to pay for the additional crew is estimated at $2,000, but the Transit Authority hopes to make up for it with the fares collected Wednesday from the extra drivers crossing the bridge.
"We had a 60-percent increase in traffic between midnight and 6:00 this morning. That's increased toll revenue," Curries said.
Tuesday night, AC Transit quickly expanded service out of San Francisco, taking riders on a long commute home across the San Mateo Bridge. AC transit is still calculating that additional cost.
Just like during the Labor Day weekend closing of the bridge, buses that would have gone across the bridge were dropping people off at one of four BART stations. By not crossing the bridge they hope to save money on gasoline.
In San Francisco, Muni was not affected, but parking control officers were redeployed and used at busy intersections to help control traffic.
"Some could be on citation-writing duty with street sweepers for excample, with DPW. So, in some cases they are being pulled from other duties," Currie explained.
A drop in the number of citations means less revenue for the city. That will be more of a guesstimate than anything else. They too hope to get reimbursed, but it will be a long and tedious process. The MTC has yet to reimburse some agencies for the Labor Day weekend closure back in September.
local news, lyanne melendez
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