It negated one of my routes to work (the casual carpool) and turned the other two (ferry and Bay Area Rapid Transit: BART) into sardine experiences. It wasn’t too inconvenient on the ferry for us regulars. And at SF’s ferry building they even set up cordon “chutes” to direct confused newbies onto the right boats to cross the bay. While boarding in the morning, the line to buy tickets for the new conscripts got incredibly long. (Regular commuters buy books of tickets, but these folks were buying a day’s round trip, hoping the bridge would get fixed.) The line formed down an aisle, wrapping around the cabin of the boat and, one morning, out the door and down the ramp to board, before they shooed everyone in so they could pull the ramp down and chug off toward the city.
With the added demand, they ran more trips including some new crew—one of the crew on the afternoon boats was a gregarious, chatty fellow. On Monday afternoon the news came that they had finally re-opened the bridge. As we boarded, he exhorted us all to continue to take the ferry, that the boats would be there when the cars and bridge failed us. Worth a smile.
As we arrived in Alameda he opened the doors to let us off the boat, and as we began shuffling down to hand off our tickets and head home, he hollered, “and don’t you all get back in your cars tomorrow!”
A number of us broke up laughing. But we’ll see. I bet ridership soon goes back to what it was.