Commuters have option in the event of a BART strike


More options are being made available to Bay Area commuters in the event of a BART strike Sunday night, transportation officials announced today.

BART's second-largest union, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555, announced Thursday that its members would begin a strike after months of negotiations with BART management did not result in an agreement.

The strike is scheduled to start Sunday at midnight and could double or triple commute times on an already congested highway system, according to transportation officials.

East Bay commuters trying to access San Francisco have several travel options via Marin County, including Golden Gate Transit buses and Golden Gate Ferry vessels, according to the Golden Gate District.

The buses and ferries are operating at about 80 percent capacity, leaving about 20 percent availability for additional commuters, according to the district.

In the event of a strike, the ferry will also operate an additional trip on a 715-passenger vessel, which will depart from Larkspur at 7:30 a.m.

Information about the services is available at

Casual carpools are also being organized via a Web site that helps drivers and passengers meet at various locations in the Bay Area.

The Web site,, provides information on the casual carpools as well as locations to meet up with fellow carpoolers.

The Bay Area's 511 Rideshare program is another option for carpoolers. New people to the program can register by going to and clicking on the "Rideshare" link.

The 511 RideMatch Service provides a free list of travelers seeking carpool partners who live and work nearby.

The Bay Area Metropolitan Transportation Commission, which plans, coordinates and finances transportation in the nine counties that make up the San Francisco Bay Area, recommends carpooling or other alternative transit, and to avoid peak driving periods to keep traffic moving.

The agency also recommends that commuters who cross one of the region's eight toll bridges purchase FasTrak toll tags, which can be purchased at Costco and Safeway and activated online.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency has also developed a plan to help connect commuters with Caltrain, SamTrans, Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District and ferry services once they're in the city.

The California Department of Transportation will also be taking steps to prepare for the possible strike.

The West Grand Avenue on-ramp to the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge will be converted to a carpool and FasTrak lane.

Tollbooths will also be fully staffed starting at 4 a.m., and field personnel will be deployed to adjust metering lights at on-ramps and at the Bay Bridge, and activate changeable message signs with useful traffic conditions and travel information, according to Caltrans.

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