BART service went down on Friday morning because of a major computer problem, leaving early commuters stranded without easy transportation.
Just before 7:30 a.m., trains started running again at half capacity - after more than seven hours of being shut down, and the California Highway Patrol warned that traffic would likely be a mess commuting through the Bay Area. Full capacity was expected by 8:30 a.m.
Spokesman Jim Allison said the problem occurred shortly after midnight Friday, and affected 19 trains with 500 to 1,000 passengers. He blamed the problem on "computer systems in central control that are not communicating properly with the track switches.''
In Walnut Creek, some commuters sat in the cold for hours, texting friends for a ride or they headed back to the parking lot to hop in their cars and leave the non-functioning station.
Dave Walker was hanging around for a cab.
"Ive got to find an alternative route, somehow, some way," he said.
Alice Strayer called her boss to see if she could get picked up on her way to work. If she didn't bum a ride, she didn't know how she'd make it in to the office.
"So, here we are," she said with an exasperated tone. "The gates are closed. There are no options."
The computer glitch had nothing to do with a controversial vote taken Thursday where BART's board of directors voted to reject approving a controversial family leave provision for its unions.
But the unions took to Twitter to comment about the problem.
Rough morning due to a power outage. Kudos to the agents, operators, controllers, & foreworkers who stayed EXTREMELY late for our riders.
— BART ATU LOCAL 1555 (@ATU_1555) November 22, 2013