A BART train sits idle at Millbrae station on July 3, 2013 during a worker walkout. (Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
A BART train sits idle at Millbrae station on July 3 during a worker walkout. (Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

It’s that time again — when all kinds of end-of-year lists start appearing in media (sigh). But here’s one we actually found interesting:

In three Bay Area cities (Oakland, Berkeley and San Francisco) that rely heavily on the public transit service, searches on the phrase BART strike spiked as the top-trending search term of the year.

While such search magnets as celebrity deaths (Paul Walker and Cory Monteith, RIP) and Powerball ranked high, the fact that the uber-newsy BART strike aced out those and the other usual suspects confirmed what we experienced here at KQED News.

Our own coverage of the two transit strikes and a narrowly averted third one generated the heaviest interest among those who follow our regional online news coverage.

Four topics appeared across Google’s top 10 lists for all five cities we requested data for — San Jose, Oakland, Berkeley, Sacramento and San Francisco.

They included Walker and Monteith’s deaths, the Boston Marathon explosion, and the iPhone 5s.

Northern California
— Top Trending Search Terms in 2013 for Five Northern California Cities (Google)

  • Craig Thomas Yates

    When will independent investigation be conduct on BART Employees union members responsible for maintenance safety checks of all BART Trains equipment, public records.


David Weir

David Weir is KQED's senior editor for digital news.  He previously worked at Rolling Stone, Salon, Wired Digital, Excite@Home, Mother Jones, and as a co-founder and executive director of the Center for Investigative Reporting.

Over the past 40 years, he and his teams have won dozens of awards, including a National Magazine Award, an IRE Award and a Webby. He has authored or co-authored four books, including (with Mark Schapiro) Circle of Poison.

He has a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Michigan, and has taught journalism at the University of California at Berkeley, Stanford and San Francisco State.

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