As the BART strike continues, we at the Clog think the commuting nightmare is only going to get worse. We’re sympathetic for individuals — including Berkeley students — who now face serious obstacles to reaching San Francisco or just trying to get to campus for classes.
According to the LA Times, traffic increased by only 8 perent (and carpool rates by 25 percent), most likely due to a lot of people taking the day off or telecommuting.
To help you start off the work week, we’ve compiled a list of transportation alternatives. We’ve listed the most practical transportation methods at the top and the best comprehensive lists from across the Web. You can also stay up to date with the BART strike here.
The official BART website has a page telling distressed BART riders what alternatives they can turn to during the strike. The most important takeaway is that there will be limited bus service — able to serve about 6,000 passengers each day — offered during peak commute times at selected stations.
AC Transit will continue its regular service and may supplement transbay lines to San Francisco if possible. Important note: Bus stops located inside BART stations have been moved outside BART property.
Taking a bus to anywhere in San Francisco takes about twice as long as getting there using BART, and we doubt many Cal students will find a two-hour bus ride an appealing way to reach Fisherman’s Wharf. If you can stomach such a journey, the free ride may be the way to go — you get to see a lot on the long bus ride, and friends to keep you company will surely make for a fun ride, albeit not a very comfortable one.
Rent a car
Driving anywhere in San Francisco from Berkeley takes only about half an hour — barring unexpected delays due to an increased amount of traffic. If no one in your group has a car, than you can rent a Zipcar for either an hourly rate or a flat fee for the whole day. The price range, depending on what kind of car you choose, can be between $10 to $14 an hour or $80 to $100 for the whole day. It is not cheap, but split between the five people who can fit in the vehicle, it isn’t outrageous either.
In the smartphone era, getting a ride can be as easy as opening an app. Uber offers private drivers to get you where you need to go; just request a type of car, have a driver pick you up, then head off to San Francisco. Like almost every other method however, traffic may delay you. The cheapest cars fitting four can get you and your group of friends to San Francisco for about $50. Getting back however, would require a similar cost, making this a not-so-affordable means of transportation for most college students. But if you can foot the cost, Uber even offers pricier SUVs that fit more people as well as luxury models.
There is also Lyft, another request-a-ride app that will pick you up and take you to wherever you need to go in San Francisco. Not as flashy as the classy Uber cars, Lyft is a ride-sharing program that can help you and your friends make the trip — all for the price of a donation! This means you can pay whatever you can afford, but keep in mind the dirty looks and diminished probability of getting a ride back using Lyft if you ignore the “suggested donation” meter and skimp out on your volunteer driver.
Casual carpooling pickup will be expanded on Spear Street for San Francisco-East Bay travelers. You can also try connecting with rides or carpools via Craigslist, through Facebook groups or through the RideMatch Service.
In the morning, taxi stands will be at key transfer points, including the Temporary Transbay Terminal, on both sides of Folsom Street in front of the Greyhound bus office, on Folsom Street, between Main and Spear streets and at the Embarcadero at the south end of the Ferry Building in the white passenger loading zone on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and more.
If you want more information about alternative forms of transportation you can turn to during the BART strike, check out these websites:
Image Sources: THE Holy Hand Grenade! under Creative Commons
Contact Pranav Trewn at [email protected]