OAKLAND, CA — Bay Area transportation officials are urging commuters to review their plans for getting to and from work in the wake of today’s announcement by a key BART union that its members will go out on strike beginning Monday, August 17. Thousands more vehicles than usual are expected to crowd onto Bay Area streets, highways and bridges if a BART work stoppage is not averted. Commuters are advised to carpool, take an alternative transit service, avoid peak driving periods by traveling earlier or later than usual, or even work at home if possible. Commuters who plan to travel across any of the Bay Area’s eight toll bridges and who do not already have a FasTrak® prepaid electronic toll tag are encouraged to open a FasTrak account right away.
In the event of a disruption to BART service, other transit providers may be able to adjust their services where possible. But any such adjustments would replace only a small fraction of BART’s passenger-carrying capacity.
The Bay Area’s 511 traveler information system — available 24/7 on the Web at www.511.org or on the phone by dialing 511 — provides a comprehensive, one-stop resource for evaluating commute alternatives, including updates on BART’s service status, alternative transit and ridesharing options, real-time traffic and transit information, and other trip planning tools. The popular 511 Transit Trip Planner offers the ability to plan door-to-door transit trips that include or exclude BART. In addition to the 511 Transit Trip Planner, 511.org offers a RideMatch Service to help commuters instantly find a short-term or long-term carpool match, and an interactive map of carpool lanes and Park & Ride lots.
The 511.org Web site provides tips to help business owners and other employers develop alternative mobility plans to reduce the impact of a BART service disruption. 511 Employer Representatives can provide free consultations to help employers develop a contingency plan. To speak to a representative or to arrange a consultation, simply call 511, say “Rideshare,” and you’ll be transferred to the live operator. The 511 Rideshare office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
FasTrak is an electronic toll collection system that allows motorists to prepay their bridge tolls, eliminating the need to stop at the toll plaza. The most convenient way to sign up for FasTrak is to pick up a toll tag at a participating Costco warehouse or Safeway supermarket. Toll tags obtained at retail outlets must be registered online at www.bayareafastrak.org, or by phone at (877) 229-8655. Toll tags also can be picked up in person at the FasTrak customer service center at 475 The Embarcadero (corner of Broadway) in downtown San Francisco, or ordered online at www.bayareafastrak.org or by going to www.511.org and clicking on the FasTrak link.
MTC is the transportation planning, coordinating and financing agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area, and operates the region’s 511 traveler information system.
John Goodwin, MTC: (415) 778-5262
Randy Rentschler, MTC: (415) 778-6780