In case of BART strike, click link

In case of BART strike, click link

Michele Ellson
BART strike

Photo from the BART blog.

A BART strike Monday could send hundreds of thousands of Bay Area commuters scrambling for another ride to work. But Alameda’s commuters – especially those headed to Oakland and San Francisco – have other options. Here are some alternate commute options for BART riders and drivers seeking to avoid congestion on the Bay Bridge.

SAN FRANCISCO BAY FERRY

Just as they did during the last BART strike, the San Francisco Bay Ferry service will provide additional ferries for riders at its Main Street and Harbor Bay terminals starting Monday if BART shuts down. The Main Street ferry will run directly to San Francisco’s ferry building every 45 minutes between 6 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., and the Harbor Bay service every half hour to hour (see schedules by clicking links).

The ferry service saw its Alameda and Oakland ridership triple during the last BART strike, and while lines were long, both lines were more than able to handle them during morning commute times. The city is once again planning to relax parking restrictions near both ferry terminals if there’s a strike, ticketing only for flagrant violations like blocking fire hydrants and driveways; they will also offer satellite parking for the Harbor Bay ferry at the Chuck Corica Golf Complex and free valet bike parking at Main Street, along with shuttles to and from both terminals (click link for info).

AC TRANSIT

AC Transit may offer some additional transbay service if BART workers go on strike, though they said they’ve got extra seats that commuters are welcome to fill. One thing they won’t be doing if BART workers strike is stop at BART stations (BART station information sheets and more here). This reporter observed some pretty empty transbay buses during the last strike, though other commuters said the buses they rode were packed.

One advantage of taking the bus over driving to San Francisco: It can roll through the carpool lane, where traffic moved a lot more quickly than other lanes during the last strike.

CASUAL CARPOOL

Alameda's casual carpool spots.

Alameda is also home to a pair of casual carpool stops, one on each end of the Island (see map). Like AC Transit, the casual carpool has access to the much faster carpool lane on the approach to the Bay Bridge; but the ride is much cheaper (free to $2) than AC Transit’s $4.20 ticket. The Alamedan tried out the casual carpool during the last strike, and we’ve got more information on it here.

DRIVING

Depending on where you’re headed (and whether you have a car), driving may emerge as an option if BART workers strike this week. During last month’s BART strike commutes were shorter than usual along some stretches of freeway and about five minutes longer than normal in others, though it’s not clear how much of an impact the impending Fourth of July holiday may have had on the traffic. Before heading out the door you can always check out 511.org for real-time traffic updates, and to figure out which commute option will work best for you.