With the likelihood of a BART strike effective Friday, many Bay Area commuters will have to find alternate ways to get to and from work and other destinations with the strike possibly extending into the weekend.
BART will provide a limited number of free roundtrip charter buses at nine East Bay BART stations starting Friday morning.
Buses will pick up ticketed passengers at El Cerrito del Norte, West Oakland, Concord, Walnut Creek, Lafayette, Dublin/Pleasanton, San Leandro, Hayward and Fremont stations starting at 5 a.m.
BART officials said there will be five to 15 buses at each station.
The buses will drop off passengers at San Francisco’s Temporary Transbay Terminal.
On the return trip, riders will board buses between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the terminal. Those buses will go to West Oakland, where transfers can be made to other buses heading to various East Bay destinations.
If the strike continues into the weekend, BART will provide three buses at the same nine East Bay stations and offer limited roundtrip direct bus service into San Francisco in the morning and evening.
The Metropolitan Transportation Commission, which oversees the regional transit system, is advising those who are opting to get behind the wheel that bridges and roadways will be congested.
In an attempt to alleviate the crowded roadways, carpool lanes will have expanded hours starting at 5 a.m. Carpooling, along with casual carpool pick-ups, is encouraged.
Parking lots at 33 BART stations will remain open during the strike and be free to use. However, some parts of the parking facilities, such as elevators, may be closed because of the strike.
Most bus service on AC Transit buses will be on a regular schedule, however there will be additional transbay buses which will provide additional seats across the Bay Bridge.
Some bus stops located at East Bay BART stations will move to nearby streets.
San Francisco Municipal Railway service will be beefed up on “high priority corridors” which includes the 14-Mission bus lines and buses along the Caltrain station near Fourth and Townsend, and in the downtown and Financial District area, and on the J-Church Metro line.
Additional taxi stands will go up at four locations: the Temporary Transbay Terminal; on Folsom Street between Main and Spear streets; in front of the Ferry Building on the Embarcadero; and at the San Francisco Caltrain Station.
The San Francisco Bay Ferry will operate 12 boats instead of its usual eight during the week. Two of the boats are on loan from the Golden Gate Ferry, which is running on a regular schedule from Marin County into San Francisco.
With the additional boats and more departure times, the ferry service will be able to carry up to 20,000 passengers instead of its average 6,000 per day.
At San Francisco International Airport, free shuttles will take passengers between the SFO BART station at the International terminal and the Millbrae Caltrain station and the San Francisco Bay Ferry dock in South San Francisco.
SamTrans will continue to run buses which will take passengers from the San Francisco Temporary Transbay Terminal to SFO.
AC Transit buses will connect passengers between the Coliseum/Oakland Airport BART station and Oakland International Airport. There will not be the usual AirBART bus shuttle available during the strike.
SamTrans buses will stop at all San Mateo County BART stations, while Caltrain service will stay on a normal schedule.
Caltrain officials said if trains reach capacity, more service may be added, if possible.
The MTC is also advising commuters to talk to employers about arranging flexible work schedules or telecommute for the day.
Sasha Lekach, Bay City News