BART trains packed for Bay Bridge closure

While scores of drivers inched along jammed freeways during the Bay Bridge closure, BART ridership soared to near record levels.

Agency officials said nearly one million passengers rode BART trains during the first days of the bridge closure.

Thursday was the busiest with 475,015 passengers riding the trains — the third highest daily ridership total for the agency.

With Friday a traditional holiday “getaway” day, ridership dipped a bit as expected. However, BART officials said it still carried 457,018 passengers, clocking in at the fourth highest ridership day for the agency.

The only other two days when trains carried more passengers were during victory parades for the Giants in 2010 and 2012, said BART officials.

The agency is also running special overnight trains through Monday night.

The overnight trains are scheduled for what’s described as a modified “X” service serving 14 stations. Trains between Concord and San Francisco International Airport will form one line of the “X”, and trains between El Cerrito del Norte and Dublin/Pleasanton will form the other line.

Though the trains will run around the clock, not all BART stations will be open for service

The 14 stations that will be open overnight — and where trains will be stopping — include El Cerrito del Norte, Downtown Berkeley, Concord, Walnut Creek, Bay Fair, 12th Street/Oakland City Center, MacArthur, Coliseum/Oakland Airport, Dublin/Pleasanton, Daly City, 24th St. Mission, Powell, Embarcadero and San Francisco International Airport.

BART is also running longer trains and adjusting train service for the large crowds heading to this weekend’s Oakland A’s baseball games.

Meanwhile, crews are making what a Caltrans spokesman described as “significant progress” on work performed on the eastern span of the bridge.

Officials report the entire bridge is expected to open to traffic again — as promised — by 5 a.m. Tuesday.