By Tim Ryan

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Perhaps never before has the term “Friday light” sounded so good to Bay Area commuters.

After what was a challenging Thursday for many in the region, struggling to get to and from work, errands and other obligations without the benefit of the Bay Bridge, plenty of people opted for a Friday off, leaving the roads, ferry terminals and BART platforms especially “Friday light.”

Bay Area Rapid Transit ridership was at near-record levels going into the holiday weekend, as commuters shed their cars for trains in the bridge’s absence.

BART spokesman Jim Allison said the system handled a little more than 475,000 riders on Thursday, eclipsing the previous No. 3 ridership record by about 30,000 riders.

Friday morning, BART parking lots filled up again early, and trains remained full at least for the morning commute.

The crowds were noticeably thinner on the roads.

“A lot of people are staying home or just taking the day off,” reasoned an Alameda-based commuter named Desiree. “That’s what we’re doing.”

“It should be the worst of it (Thursday),” reasoned another commuter. “I would imagine a lot of people are going to take off (Friday).”

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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