BART Strike Commute Mess: BART Adds Charter Buses, Caltrans Extends HOV Lanes

With regular BART service unavailable today, transit officials are urging Bay Area residents to work at home, carpool or use alternate forms of transit.

Although BART trains aren’t running, BART is providing 58 charter buses, which will carry people between the El Cerrito del Norte, Walnut Creek, Dublin-Pleasanton and Fremont stations to a spot near the San Francisco Transbay Terminal from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., BART spokesman Jim Allison said.

However, BART officials noted that the buses can only serve 2,000 to 4,000 passengers in each direction, depending on traffic.

“My advice to people would be to be flexible, be patient with other people in the Bay Area this morning,” Allison said. “This is really unfortunate that so many people have been inconvenienced.”

The hours for the HOV lanes from the Carquinez Bridge to the Bay Bridge have been temporarily extended, Caltrans spokesman Bob Haus said.

The lanes normally function as carpool lanes from 5 to 10 a.m. and from 3 to 7 p.m. Haus said that because of the BART strike, the lanes will be HOV lanes all day today, from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The San Francisco Municipal Railway will prioritize the 14-Mission, 49-Van Ness, J-Church, and N-Judah lines during peak hours, agency officials said.

SFMTA officials also recommended casual carpooling, pointing out that there are pickup spots for people traveling along the Fremont, Dublin-Pleasanton, or Pittsburg-Bay Point BART routes on Spear Street between Howard and Folsom streets.

The pickup spot for commuters traveling along the Richmond BART route is on Beale Street between Howard and Folsom streets.

Zack Farmer, Bay City News

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