Bay Area travelers urged to plan ahead for possible BART strike

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SAN FRANCISCO – With the possibility of BART trains once again coming to a halt as early as Oct. 11, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission urges Bay Area commuters and other travelers to review their contingency plans, and especially to form carpools before hitting the road. Comprehensive information about traditional carpooling, casual carpooling, and dynamic ridesharing is available on a special BART strike information page at alert.511.org.

If a BART strike does occur this month, it is expected to have a greater impact on regional mobility than the four-day strike in early July 2013, with many thousands more vehicles than usual crowding onto streets, highways, and bridges as people travel to work and take their children to school.

Preliminary analysis of regional travel during the July BART strike shows about 52 percent of the 56,000 commuters who ordinarily would have used BART to travel between the East Bay and San Francisco in the morning either stayed home or cancelled their trips. Of the remaining 48 percent, the largest number, about 12,000 people, joined carpools as either a driver or passenger. Casual carpool pickup locations already are established near several BART stations, including El Cerrito del Norte, Lafayette, North Berkeley and Orinda. At other stations, passenger pick-up/drop-off locations can be used as casual carpool sites.

Detailed information about alternative transit services also is available at alert.511.org. In the event of a disruption to BART service, other transit providers such as AC Transit, San Francisco Bay Ferry, Solano County’s Soltrans, and the Western Contra Costa Transit Authority, are expected to adjust their services to accommodate more San Francisco-bound commuters.

Ferries provided the second most popular alternative (after carpools) for transbay commuters during the July BART strike, accommodating about 7,000 additional riders each day, while roughly 3,600 commuters boarded buses operated by local agencies; 2,600 additional solo drivers crossed state-owned toll bridges and 1,600 rode BART-chartered buses from select East Bay stations.

Should a BART strike occur in October, BART will provide limited charter bus service to downtown San Francisco from 5 a.m. to 8 a.m. from nine East Bay stations. Space on these buses is limited, so riders are encouraged to arrive early. Morning passengers will be issued a round-trip ticket, and must present this ticket to board an afternoon bus for the return trip to the East Bay.

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission is the transportation planning, coordinating, and financing agency for the nine-county Bay Area, and operates the region’s 511 traveler information system.
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