Traffic to the Bay Bridge began backing up around 6:30 a.m. Monday. (Deborah Svoboda/KQED)
During the four-day BART strike early in July Bay Area roadways were snarled and commute times often more than doubled. (Deborah Svoboda/KQED)

By Lisa Pickoff-White and Kelly Dunleavy-O’Mara

BART unions may go on strike early on Monday, August 5. Here are several transit options and advice to help you get to where you need to go.

During the July strike, MTC urged residents to work from home if possible and asked employers to offer flexible schedules. Roads are expected to be packed, so taking public transit or biking is heavily encouraged. If you must drive, officials are recommending that people carpool and are warning you to expect extra long commutes. Parking at BART lots and at Park & Ride lots will be free. Leave your car there and carpool or take alternative transit.

Casual Carpooling: If carpooling with neighbors or co-workers isn’t an option, casual carpooling allows strangers to meet up and share rides. Check out 511’s casual carpooling map for places to meet with other commuters. Or, visit RideNow or SF Casual Carpooling for places to find a ride, pick-up other commutes, and get more information. Or use ride-sharing apps (some of which are capitalizing on the situation to market themselves) to find rides and split costs.

While Oakland’s casual carpool lines have been longer than normal, many pickup spots are seeing normal traffic.

Biking: The San Francisco Bike Coalition has resources for finding bike routes, maps, and bike parking. Expect bike racks on buses to be close to capacity.

BART: BART has limited weekday round-trip charter bus service from the El Cerrito del Norte, Walnut Creek, Dublin/ Pleasanton and Fremont stations into San Francisco from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. and back from a stop near the San Francisco Transbay Terminal from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at no charge. The service will operate in the commute direction only. Tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis in the morning at those four stations only. People without those round-trip tickets will not be allowed to board in San Francisco to return to the East Bay in the evening. Check online after 3 p.m. for information about bus service the following day.

AC Transit: AC Transit’s contract also expired Sunday night. But currently AC Transit is continuing regular service. The agency has reported some additional seating capacity on existing local and transbay lines. AC Transit is also planning to supplement transbay lines to San Francisco with extra service when possible. In the event of a BART strike, bus stops located inside BART stations will move outside BART property. BART station information sheets contain maps of the alternative locations. Get more information about AC Transit contingency plans on its website.

Blue and Gold Ferry/Baylink Ferry: The Blue and Gold Ferry operates ferries from Alameda, Sausalito, Tiburon, Oakland, Vallejo, and South San Francisco. Schedules can be found online.

Caltrain/SamTrans: Caltrain will operate its regular schedule, but has said it will monitor travel patterns and attempt to respond to increased demand with additional service. SamTrans also will provide a temporary shuttle from Daly City and Colma to a temporary transit center on Mission Street. The free shuttle will operate during commute hours, from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., Monday to Friday.

SamTrans customers should look for their regular buses at temporary stops outside San Mateo County BART stations. In Daly City, the temporary shuttle stops will be on DeLong Street, adjacent to the BART station. In Colma, the temporary shuttle stop will be at the Colma Park and Ride lot, located behind the station.

The temporary transit center will be located at Mission and Crocker streets in the northbound direction and Mission and Goethe streets in the southbound direction. Passengers will be able to transfer to SamTrans Route 391 and San Francisco Muni 14 at the transit center.

Golden Gate Ferry and Bus: Check goldengate.org/bart for updates on strike service. Golden Gate operates ferries from Larkspur and Sausalito to the Ferry Building in San Francisco, as well as buses from the San Rafael Transit Center into the city. Golden Gate Larkspur Ferry will operate an additional high-capacity (715 passengers) weekday trip departing Larkspur at 7:30am during the BART strike. Golden Gate Transit is warning commuters, however, that the Golden Gate Larkspur ferries are already operating at 100 percent capacity at commute times and therefore are “not recommended as a commute alternative.”

Muni: SFMTA will operate a regular schedule with increased service where possible. Updates on any changes can be found online or from @sfmta_muni on Twitter. The MTA announced it will prioritize service along the BART corridor along the 14 and 49 bus lines, as well as the J Church and N Judah rail lines. Stay current at alert.511.org.

San Francisco Bay Ferry: Regular ferries operate at commute times from Alameda, Harbor Bay, Oakland, and Vallejo to the San Francisco Ferry Building. Get schedules and updates online.

Amtrak: During the BART strike in early July, Amtrak was underutilized by commuters. But trains run throughout the Bay Area. Get schedules and tickets online.

Getting to SFO: The San Francisco International Airport is operating free busses between the airport and the Millbrae Caltrain station. Free buses are also going to the Ferry Boat terminal in South San Francisco, which offers connections to all Bay Ferry Services. A map of the bus routes is available.

Getting to Oakland International Airport: The AirBART bus shuttle has suspended service during the BART Strike.  AC Transit’s regular service connects travelers between Capitol Corridor’s Oakland Coliseum station and Oakland Airport.

Stay up-to-date by following KQED, of course, or @511SFBay on Twitter, or alert.511.org for the latest information and status of service. You can also sign up for BART strike alerts.

  • Lynn

    What are people supposed to do if they have a court hearing at the Federal building in Oakland? I live in Antioch and have waited for more than a year for this Disability Hearing on Monday morning at 9 a.m. HWY 4 traffic is already a nightmare on the best of days! What am I supposed to do now? How long would it take (estimated) to drive during ‘strike traffic’ if I can get a ride? I don’t know what time to leave and I CANNOT miss this hearing with the judge! Help???

  • Robert Collins

    Lynn, have you looked at http://BARTstrike.com or avego.com they offer realtime rideshaing. They’re also offering buses to help. Have a look here for the backup bus schedule in case you can’t find a match.
    http://bartstrike.com/?p=1021

  • Yvonne

    You left out WestCAT http://www.westcat.org. We are operating additional transbay service to/from Hercules and the perimeter streets around the El Cerrito del Norte BART station into San Francisco. Call us at 510-724-7993. Parking at the Hercules Transit Center will be free for the duration of the BART strike.

  • Bay Bride Bike Lane

    We need a bike lane on the bay bridge. East Bay commuters are in the soup!

    • mcpuddin

      Haha.. yah they should’ve just closed down 1 whole lane for bikers

  • shadiibanoo

    anyone know how to get from SFO to the eastbay without bart?

    • mcpuddin

      ACTransit -> Caltrain could work going around the San Mateo bridge

  • mcpuddin

    For those that aren’t into carpooling with people you don’t know, I’d try http://www.groupcarpool.com It’s for private communities and groups that simply want to arrange carpools effectively for their commute

  • cynthiaprice

    I commute on a motorcycle, so I can ride in the carpool lane and lane-split through heavy traffic (which is legal in California if done safely.) I am almost never affected by traffic or transit interruptions.

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