APEC conference creates an opportunity for BART, Muni to regain riders

As APEC descends on San Francisco, it marks a Super Bowl of sorts for Bay Area public transit agencies

Many will rely on transit in an effort to beat what is expected to be bad traffic.

Many in the city who haven't utilized public transit since before the pandemic said BART and Muni may have a chance to re-win them over. 

"I’ve been thinking that once it gets more traffic and it's back to where it is pre-COVID I would go back to Muni because it's faster," said Don Aingworth, a San Francisco resident. 

Aingworth lives in San Francisco’s Cole Valley.

Every morning he drives to work in the city's Financial District, but come Monday the former Muni rider may return to the train. 

Aingworth, like many, expects traffic in the city to be a nightmare

"I mean they're closing Pine and Nob Hill, SoMa is all closed up," Aingworth said.  "Unless everyone gets on Muni it's going to be horrible."

Aingworth and others who sometimes drive to work or wish they had the option to drive, say public transit in the city has become dangerous and unreliable.


"The only thing that bothers me is when it's not on the schedule," Aingworth said. "When it says it's coming, and then they reroute it, and then you have to wait a long time."

Another rider, Tyler Clark told KTVU he has seen drug use on BART trains. 

"You just don't feel safe," Clark said. "You should be able to go out and use your public means of transportation and feel safe." 

Despite this, officials are urging the public to take transit as many streets will be shut down, including one lane of the Bay Bridge in both directions for CHP accessibility.

In an interview on Saturday morning, BART officials told KTVU next week is a big opportunity for BART. 

"We know that a lot of people will be turning to us because of road closures," Chris Filippi, a BART spokesperson said.

He said the agency has been preparing for weeks. 

They will have extra staff and security in place to ensure rider safety.

Trains will also be made longer in an effort to accommodate the expected uptick in riders. 

"It really speaks to the effort of coordination when it comes to ensuring the safety of our riders and anyone going to APEC," Filippi said.