Bigger crowds a certainty during Super Bowl; is BART ready?

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Parking is already in short supply at BART stations and the week leading to Super Bowl 50 will test the transit system’s ridership preparedness even more. Nonetheless, BART says it’s ready to go, but with some big cautions.

"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," says BART spokesman Jim Allison.

The transit system says it’s been planning for the Super Bowl for the last four months.  Allison says when the NFL venues open and traffic picks up, short 4 and 5 BART train cars will give way to 10 car trains.

"Were going to keep those trains long and try to anticipate the busiest days and the busiest travel destinations," says Allison.

BART has parking at 31 of its destinations; most commuters pre-pay, or use them on a reservation basis early in the morning.

"Parking is always in very high demand and we expect that to only be in higher demand during Super Bowl week, says Allison. ”If you can find a way to get to the BART station that doesn't involve driving yourself there and trying to find a parking lot, that's the way to go.”

And what about those often dirty, urine-smelling escalators and stations?

"We have just begun a new station brightening effort which people will notice in the downtown San Francisco stations. During the Super Bowl week, you will have extra staffing and that means extra cleaning people as well as extra station agents and police officers," says Allison.

As for the tens of thousands of extra riders headed to Super Bowl City and the NFL Experience, Allison refers to the previous victory parades BART has already accommodated.

"We've carried more than a half million people a couple of times, so we're ready for the Super Bowl," he concluded.

BART encourages Super Bowl event riders to use the larger, more passenger capable Montgomery Station instead of Embarcadero. It’s closer to Moscone and just a few minutes’ walk to Super Bowl City at the foot of Market.