Options For Monday's Potential Transportation Doomsday
No one can predict the future. But our bets are already placed, and we're betting that you are not going to be sitting on a potentially feces-laden BART train seat come Monday morning.
Looks like strike number two is on the way
With another potential BART strike looming, it's time to batten down the hatches and figure out just how in the hell you are getting to and from work next week.
Since BART's roughly 400,000 riders could be without a lift to work on Monday, some organizations are kicking in a few extra buses, discounts, and drivers in order to get you where you need to go during this second Bay Area commuter hell.
BART will take the lead and offer 95 charter buses throughout the strike period, says spokeswoman Alicia Trost. These buses will be stopping at seven pickup locations in the East Bay.
Those seven pickup stops will transfer passengers to the city via the West Oakland station between 5 a.m. and 8 a.m. Each person will receive a free round trip fare from the East Bay to S.F. and back again in the evening from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
BART notes they will be updating the status of these buses every day by 3 p.m. via media outlets and their Twitter account. And all 32 BART parking lots will be free and open to the public for use during every day that the system is shutdown. Monthly parking permit holders will also be reimbursed during the strike.
AC Transit will be running their normal services across the East Bay and transbay routes. And pending equipment and driver availability, they will be augmenting the most heavily hit routes with extra runs and a few extra buses. Expect to see the high-capacity "accordion" style buses on the transbay routes.
San Francisco Bay Ferry
The San Francisco Bay Ferry will be running 13 boats instead of the normal eight, and will include a route modification that allows direct trips from Oakland to S.F., as well as from Alameda to S.F., which are normally combined into one loop. Ernest Sanchez, spokesperson for the ferry company says they will be borrowing two boats from the Golden Gate Ferry and one from the Blue and Gold ferry fleet to make these changes possible.
Within S.F. city limits, Muni will be expanding its services and prioritizing bus and rail lines along the Mission corridor, which essentially parallels the BART corridor. Muni is also encouraging more people to take part in casual carpooling, which will have departure points out of S.F. on both Beale and Spear streets, between Howard and Folsom, running to various BART and East Bay drop-off points.
If you must drive into the city, you have a few options thanks to a couple of endeavoring companies, including S.F. startup GottaPark, an online tool which allows you to reserve a parking spot in roughly 100 garages. GottaPark is offering 5 percent discounts for using their service, says Luke Jones, director of business development.
Also, Ireland-based Carma, formerly known as Avego Ridesharing, will be offering $25 to any driver who shows up at one of their three East Bay and one S.F. "superhubs" and are willing to ferry fellow riders to and from destinations. The only requirement is that you show up with the app on your phone and be ready to drive. Carma is offering the $25 to offset parking fees in S.F., and is running the promotion regardless of whether or not BART strikes.
Paul Steinberg, a spokesperson for Carma, says it was depressing to see how relatively wide-open and underutilized the carpool lanes in the Bay Area were during the last strike.
Metropolitan Transportation Commission spokesman John Goodwin agrees, as he said all the combined extra services for transportation amount to a "drop in the bucket" compared to the ridership of BART.
"Our most available resource are the unused seats in people's cars," Goodwin added.
Another key place to check for consistent updates throughout the weekend is alert.511.org/.
In the end, you have several options to get to work come commuter hell Monday, that is if you don't work from home or decide to take a vacation.
Additional research and reporting for this story done by Natalia Aldana.