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Commute times could triple in some cases if BART workers strike

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    NEWSLETTERS

    San Francisco Ferry Building will be very popular this week if there is a BART strike.

    Monday's BART strike is still a real possibility, so commuters need to prepare now and get a plan in place for what they will do tomorrow.

    If no BART trains run, that could add thousands of vehicles to Bay Area streets and highways.

    BART Union Says It Will Shut Down the System

    [BAY] BART Union Says It Will Shut Down the System
    One of BART's major unions said it will effectivly shut down the system at the close of business on Sunday to protest a contract being imposed by the operator's board. (Published Sunday, Aug 16, 2009)

    Your commute time could double or triple in some cases.

    The MTC, which plans, coordinates and finances transportation in  the nine counties that make up the San Francisco Bay Area, recommends that commuters carpool, take alternative transit and avoid peak driving periods in order to keep traffic moving.

    A RideMatch service is offered at 511.org, a trip planner site run by the MTC. 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 developed a plan to help connect commuters with Caltrain, SamTrans, AC Transit and ferry  services once they're in the city, according to a statement from the agency.

    • Muni service will be prioritized along 14 Mission, 49 Van  Ness-Mission, J Church to and from Balboa Park/ Geneva, and N Judah to and  from Caltrain and Fourth and King routes.
    • Parking enforcement will also be increased, especially in the  South of Market area where motorists enter the city from the Bay Bridge and  Highway 101.
    • Casual carpooling pick up areas will include 12 additional  destinations that will be in effect between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. on weekdays.
    • SFMTA will work with private taxi companies to make sure there are  cabs with ramps at transfer points to help disabled customers.
    • East Bay bus line will also deploy any extra resources it can to back up  existing services. AC Transit has a transbay line goes between various East  Bay locations and the San Francisco Transbay Terminal at Mission and Second streets.
    • The Blue and Gold Fleet ferries offer another option for crossing the San Francisco Bay without a car.  One-way trips cost $6.50 and leave from Sausalito, Angel Island,  Oakland/ Alameda, Tiburon and Vallejo about every half-hour or hour,  depending on the destination, between 6 a.m. and 9:25 p.m.
    • An on-ramp to the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge will be  converted into a carpool and FasTrak lane as one of many changes on Bay Area  highways.
    • As part of an agreement with the city of Oakland, the California Highway Patrol and the AC Transit District, Caltrans would convert the West  Grand Avenue on-ramp to the Bay Bridge to a carpool and FasTrak access lane only.

    Officials will also be monitoring traffic and  could extend the operating hours for carpool lanes on highways in the region,  particularly on the busy Interstate Highway 80 corridor.
     
    Caltrans will also be deploying field personnel to adjust metering  lights at on-ramps and at the Bay Bridge, and activate changeable message  signs with useful traffic conditions and travel information.

    Tollbooths will also be fully staffed starting at 4 a.m. and would  continue through the commute hours, Wonder said.

    The Bay Area's 511 Rideshare program has seen an increase in  interest because of the looming BART strike, according to program spokesman  Kit Powis.

    "The phones have picked up a lot in the last few minutes" since  the 4 p.m. announcement of a possible strike, Powis said this evening.

    New carpoolers to the program can register by going online to  http://511.org and clicking on the "Rideshare" link. The 511 RideMatch  Service provides a free list of travelers seeking carpool partners who live  and work nearby.

    Caltrain and SamTrans have also developed a contingency plan in  the event of a BART strike Sunday night, agency officials announced today.

    SamTrans will be routing its buses out of BART stations and run a  commute-hour shuttle to a temporary transit center where passengers can  connect with San Francisco Municipal Railway service, according to officials.

    Caltrain will be operating its regular service.