Bay Area braces for Super Bowl commute congestion

As construction crews work into the night building the Super Bowl Fan Village at the foot of Market Street, the road closures are causing congestion through the downtown San Francisco and on public transit.

The Embarcadero has been closed to southbound traffic in front of the Ferry Building and even though most tourists haven't even arrived, commuters say it's been rough whether you're on the roads, rails, or water.

It appeared Tuesday that most drivers were heeding warnings about the Embarcadero shutdown at Washington Street. Traffic at 5:30 p.m. was much lighter than Monday's gridlock.

But driving through the detours still wasn't easy.

"It's been kind of brutal actually," said Adam DeVito of Mill Valley who was driving downtown Tuesday evening. "I will not come down, I will take public transportation if I come down for sure."

The BART option, though, proved just as congested.

"It's been heavy and we're only expecting worse. So yeah, it's noticeably different," said Wynne Brown, a regular rider from Pacifica.

BART officials say ridership was up Tuesday morning by 6,000 people. Signs about the downtown detours were posted on the platforms.

BART says it will add capacity in the coming week by extending four-car trains to 10 cars.

"We've got all the non-essential maintenance done on our train cars so that we will have as many train cars as we can out there available for service," said BART spokesman Jim Allison.

Still, some regular riders say their main strategy is to stay home.

"I'm going to work from home. The plan is to not come into San Francisco; said Brown.

At the Ferry Building, ferry lines were long.

"Last night for example, I made the 5:20 ferry by about six people, so it's really gotten busy since the Super Bowl started," said Mark Johnson of Alameda.

"Definitely concerned about the traffic congestion, the road blocks. It's a little anxiety," said Leslie Borkow, Alameda

Authorities say ferry ridership is up as much as 40 percent on some routes this week compared to last week. They say they plan to put extra vessels into play if all departure times sell out.

BART officials say they anticipate they will be able to handle the Super Bowl 50 crowds and say ridership likely will not exceed the record numbers that topped 550,000 riders for the 2012 Giants World Series Championship parade and the Warriors 2015 NBA Championship parade.

Overall, the event will be a test of the region's capacity to handle crowds, as well as a test of people's patience.

So many people say-- just try to enjoy the ride.