John Metcalfe is CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, based in Oakland. His coverage focuses on climate change and the science of cities.
The BART strike made for a crowded commute, but not a nightmare.
This morning, workers of Bay Area Rapid Transit went on strike, forcing the shutdown of all train service in the commuter subway.
The subway connects workers in East Bay cities like Oakland and Berkeley to jobs in downtown San Francisco (and vice versa). Without those trains, trans-bay public-transit commuters were forced to drive, hop on a ferry or bus, or telecommute. SFMTA put out a complicated list of alternatives, and there was even a thread on Reddit for carpooling (h/t NBC Bay Area).
As the Associated Press notes:
The walkout promised to derail the more than 400,000 riders who use the nation's fifth-largest rail system and affect every mode of transportation. Transportation officials said another 60,000 vehicles could be on the road, clogging highways and bridges throughout the Bay Area.
Marin Independent Journal reports that there were more people using the ferries this morning, but that traffic on the Golden Gate Bridge wasn't too bad. Jams on major freeways started earlier than normal, but, as SFGate reports, "Freeways were crowded, but not gridlocked."
Here are pics from Twitter (timestamps are in East Coast time).
Cities' John Metcalfe checked out the scene in downtown San Francisco. Here's a photo of strikers outside Civic Center station late morning.
A sign on the fare machines at Powell Street station.
An eerily empty Montgomery Street station platform.
A ferry worker told Cities that there were about 20 minute delays between San Francisco and Oakland this morning. Workers were putting out traffic cones to separate the afternoon's lines from cars.
And here was the line for the San Francisco to Oakland ferry around noon.
All images by John Metcalfe.