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SURVIVING THE STRIKE: The California Beat guide to getting around without BART

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With BART train operators and station agents going out on strike starting Monday morning, Bay Area traffic is going to be a mess. Plan to leave at least 90 minutes additional time to get to your destination.

We offer a guide to getting around the Bay Area as quickly as possible without BART.

General options

  • 511.org can attempt to match you with other commuters to form a carpool. Park and Ride lots provide convenient places for you to meet your fellow carpoolers.
  • Bart.gov also has a list of alternatives for ways you can avoid the gridlock.

To San Francisco

  • From the East Bay:
    • Ferry service is available from Alameda (Harbor Bay Isle and downtown), Oakland’s Jack London Square, and Vallejo to the San Francisco Ferry Building on the Embarcadero. A one-way trip costs $6.25 from Alameda or Oakland, $6.50 from Harbor Bay Isle, and $13.00 from Vallejo. All three agencies will have additional service during a BART strike; see their websites for details. ON JULY 4TH: ferries will operate on a less-frequent limited schedule.
    • AC Transit operates Transbay bus service from most of the East Bay via the Bay Bridge, but the buses may be delayed by traffic; rides are $4.20 one-way. Most buses operate only during commute hours in the commute direction (to San Francisco in the morning, to the East Bay in the evening), but select lines run all day in both directions to and from destinations including Oakland, Berkeley, and Alameda. ON JULY 4TH, AC Transit transbay service only operates on the NL, F and O lines. Service will be increased on the NL and F routes.
    • Casual carpool locations are places where you can show up without prior arrangements and join a carpool. Most casual carpoolers are commuting from the East Bay to San Francisco in the morning and going back to the East Bay in the evening. 
  • From Dublin and Pleasanton: Your transit options are extremely scarce; consider forming a carpool or working from home.
  • From Western Contra Costa County: WestCAT will operate its Lynx bus service every 10 minutes between 5 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. During the middle of the day Lynx will operate every hour.
  • From the Peninsula:
    • Caltrain offers rail service from San Jose and the Peninsula to San Francisco. The agency does not expect to operate additional service during a strike.
    • SamTrans offers bus service from the Peninsula to San Francisco, and will be adding additional service to BART stations to accomodate commuters during a strike.

To Oakland and Berkeley

  • From San Francisco:
    • Ferry service is available from the San Francisco Ferry Building to Harbor Bay Isle in Alameda, Alameda downtown, and Jack London Square in Oakland. A one-way trip costs $6.25 to Harbor Bay Isle and $6.50 to Alameda or Oakland.
    • AC Transit operates Transbay bus service to most of the East Bay via the Bay Bridge, but the buses may be delayed by traffic; rides are $4.20 one-way. Most buses operate only during commute hours in the commute direction (to San Francisco in the morning, to the East Bay in the evening), but select lines run all day in both directions to and from Oakland, Berkeley, and Richmond.
    • Casual carpool locations are places where you can show up without prior arrangements and join a carpool. Most casual carpoolers are commuting from the East Bay to San Francisco in the morning; there is limited service back to the East Bay in the evening.
  • From Hayward and Fremont: AC Transit offers bus service throughout the East Bay, including from Fremont to Hayward and from Hayward to Oakland.
  • From Richmond: AC Transit offers bus service throughout the East Bay, including bus rapid transit service (line 72R) from Richmond to Oakland.
  • From Walnut Creek/Eastern Contra Costa County: Your transit options are extremely scarce; consider forming a carpool or working from home. Or try the Free BART shuttle departing from Walnut Creek Station during commute hours.

Within San Francisco

  • San Francisco’s MUNI transit agency will operate additional service on bus and street car lines that serve the BART corridor. These are the J-Church, 14-Mission, 49-Van Ness/Mission and the N-Judah lines.
  • SFMTA will be monitoring the city’s parking garages because of likely increased demand for available parking spaces.
  • The San Francisco Department of Parking and Traffic will have a full staff attempting to direct gridlock traffic throughout the city.

To San Francisco International Airport

  • From San Francisco: SamTrans connects downtown San Francisco with service to SFO. You can also take a taxi or an airport shuttle directly to the airport. SFO is also providing a free shuttle bus between Millbrae Caltrain and the International terminal operating every 15-30 minutes.
  • From Oakland, Berkeley, and Richmond: Take public transit and connect with the above options.
  • From Hayward and Fremont: Take public transit and connect with the above options.
  • From Walnut Creek: Take public transit and connect with the above options.

To Oakland International Airport

  • From San Francisco: You can take a cab or airport shuttle van. AC Transit line 73 also provides frequent service to the airport. If you are coming from San Francisco, AC Transit’s NL line leaves from the Transbay Terminal and goes to the Eastmont Transit Center in East Oakland. Connect there to AC Transit line 73.
  • From Oakland, Berkeley, and Richmond: You can take a cab or airport shuttle van. AC Transit line 73 & 21 also provides frequent service to the airport.
  • From Hayward and Fremont: You can take a cab or airport shuttle van. AC Transit line 73 also provides frequent service to the airport.
  • From Walnut Creek: You can take a cab or airport shuttle van. AC Transit line 73 also provides frequent service to the airport.

BART shuttle service

BART will be operating limited free shuttle bus service round trip between the peak commute hours of 5 a.m. to 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. These shuttle services will connect the Dublin/Pleasanton BART station, Fremont BART station, Walnut Creek BART station and El Cerrito BART station with the West Oakland BART station. BART will also provide service across the Bay Bridge between West Oakland BART and downtown San Francisco at the temporary Transbay Transit Center. BART is also offering free parking at all its station parking lots. ON JULY 4TH: BART will operate limited shuttle bus services for people who are working on Independence Day. Check the BART website for times.

Other notes

  • The California Highway Patrol plans to convert West Grand Avenue to a carpool (3 plus passengers) and bus-only connector ramp to the Bay Bridge beginning Monday morning from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. The HOV lanes will be enforced on July 4th and 5th. 
  • Most transit services offering bus lines to BART stations will stop outside the BART stations on nearby streets. Make sure to pay attention to signs for the right bus.

Have better ideas or suggestions for your fellow readers? Leave them in the comments below, or contact us at news@californiabeat.org.

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