As we exit the pandemic, the world has changed in ways that affect travel in the Golden Gate Corridor. While recreational and tourist travel have mostly returned, commute travel has not. Today, there are 150,000 fewer people in downtown San Francisco each weekday as compared to pre-pandemic. In downtown San Francisco, the office vacancy rate is over 29%, and the amount of vacant office space is greater than 20 Salesforce Towers.
Given the state of downtown San Francisco, demand for Bridge, Bus and Ferry travel during commute periods remains depressed. Commute Bridge traffic is averaging about 30% below normal, so only about 70% of auto commute travel has returned.
Not surprisingly, the absence of commute travel creates fiscal challenges for the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District (District). Revenues from tolls and fares are still down an average of about $1 million each week, and expenses continue to exceed revenues. Fortunately, expenses are down, due to the District offering less commute bus and ferry service.
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