OAKLAND (CBS SF) – BART carried more than half a million passenger trips on Thursday, as ridership spiked because many people used the transit system to get to and from the celebration in Oakland of the Golden State Warriors’ NBA championship, transit officials said Friday.

BART said the 518,744 trips it carried on Thursday made it the fifth-highest ridership day in its history.

The transit agency said, “We want to thank our riders, our employees and all of Dub Nation for making it a successful and safe day.”

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BART said the number of passengers it carried on Thursday was down about 5 percent from the passenger load it carried during the Warriors’ victory celebration two years ago.

But the transit agency said Thursday’s ridership was an increase of about 27 percent from the ridership seen on a baseline Thursday without special events.

BART said the public heeded its advice to avoid the smaller Lake Merritt Station in Oakland and instead use 12th Street/City Center and 19th Street stations, which it said relieved some crowding.

The transit agency said data also show that some riders left the celebration early, which helped spread out ridership during the evening commute.

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