BART is planning some major track repair work on weekends starting April 5 that will shut down service completely between Coliseum and Fruitvale stations. This means a "bus bridge" will be necessary to ferry passengers between the stations in both directions, at least through summer, and that means delays of anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes. Sorry, San Leandro.
As the Chronicle reports, BART needs to replace some 45-year-old track components that are overdue for replacement. To be exact: "1,000 battered and weather-beaten wooden ties, 2,000 cushioning pads, 3,000 feet of worn rail and four switches at a location known as an interlocking."
The work is estimated to require at least 11 weekends (but they're actually estimating completion in August, according to BART), with work sometimes beginning at 7 p.m., and sometimes requiring full days. This means major inconveniences for anyone traveling to or from Hayward, Fremont, Dublin/Pleasanton, Castro Valley, San Leandro, or Bayfair, since the "bus bridge" will just be a couple of AC transit buses that accommodate 52 people each while every BART train carries an average of 600 people every 20 minutes.
So, BART is essentially telling everyone who lives in these places not to rely on BART this spring. "We understand this is going to inconvenience some people," says BART assistant general manager for operations Paul Oversier. "This should be considered a lifeline-type service for people who have no alternative. We strongly encourage people to use alternative transportation."
According to the official BART statement, "The area where these repairs must be done is part of the elevated track and is difficult to access, which is why a complete shut-down is required. If this work is not done soon, the tracks will become completely unusable forcing thousands of drivers onto already congested roadways."