Survival tips for the BART apocalypse

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If you haven’t been affected by the BART strike, you obviously don’t live in the Bay Area. From all the politics behind the BART system — and even our AC Transit system — the whole East Bay and San Francisco are basically reeling. It’s absolute chaos. While the BART employees have a valid argument, what about the needs of UC Berkeley students who made important summer commitments so that this world doesn’t have to be a screwed-up place? Or what about the necessary commuting needs of Bay Area citizens who have lower incomes than our BART drivers, you may wonder? Good questions. Here at the Daily Clog, we’re asking ourselves the same thing. We wonder if they’ve considered the serious impact that unsettled pay-raise decisions would have on our disabled community members, professionals and the rest of the general population. Undoubtedly, it’s gotten incredibly dangerous. Until things become a little more orderly, here are some tips to help you survive the BART apocalypse:

Give yourself more time. Sadly, there’s pretty much no way around it. The buses are packed, a boat would probably take just as long — or longer — and good luck waiting in a car for a few good moments just to pay the toll. If you’ve made important summer commitments, save yourself the stress and take responsibility. Maybe consider waking up an hour or two earlier than you usually do. After experimenting for one day, you should get a feel for when is an appropriate time to leave for work. Depending on how considerate your boss is, consider this an opportunity that shows him or her that you are a committed and hardworking employee or volunteer.

Make sure your phone is charged. This is an appropriate time to do all that Facebook scrolling and gaming. You could potentially be waiting half an hour or more than an hour. Don’t make it torture. Entertain yourself instead! Maybe even get in that luxury reading you’ve been wanting to do during the regular school year. However, making sure that your phone is charged always ensures your safety. It’s seriously crazier on the streets. Your cellphone is an important tool just in case something unfavorable happens.

Keep your wallet in your front pocket. We’re broke enough as it is, y’all. With being forced to be squished next to someone that you don’t know, make sure you know where all the belongings that you care about are. There are so many distractions on our buses, and there are thieves who know this. Be your own responsible best friend, and protect your belongings. Let’s just say that once it’s gone, you’ll probably never see that item again.

Ditch the heels. We all know this: Everyone wants a seat. And we mean everyone. Chances are that you’re going to be doing some serious standing and some serious walking. By the end of this strike, you’re going to know a whole bunch of street names and bus lines that you never knew about before. But don’t ruin your feet in the process! We’re for the pumps as much as the next guy, but consider comfort and practicality. Snug sneakers can make your bus commute so much easier.

Vent. Yes. We’re all stressed: BART drivers, AC Transit drivers, MUNI drivers and then the rest of us. If you have any friends or family members who also may be having a hard time getting around the Bay Area, or if you have friends or family members who are concerned about what’s happening to our public transportation, don’t be afraid to let it out! Don’t keep your emotions bottled up — you never know when you’re going to explode on an innocent person. Letting your feelings out can be therapeutic and can relieve serious stress. Venting is a good way to connect with others and maybe even get more tips on how to avoid skin-to-skin contact with strangers and traffic.

Consider that this is also an opportunity for us to cooperate as an entire Bay Area community. Times are tough, and everyone is having a hard time, so don’t feel like someone up there targeted you to make your life worse. Plan accordingly, and consider that having a positive attitude and outlook on this current situation can make your commute easier and more comfortable. It’ll just be another part of your day.

Any tips on how to avoid the chaos from the shut-down BART system? Let us know in the comments!

Image source: aaron_anderer under Creative Commons

Contact Karen Kwaning at [email protected]