The news for BART riders just keeps getting worse and worse. The transit system's persistent issues with their aging tracks cause near-daily disruptions and delays, weekend East Bay riders need to switch to a bus if they want to get between the Coliseum and Fruitvale stations, and service between SF and the East Bay will be shut down completely for two upcoming weekends. Oh, and about that last thing? BART has little to no plan on how they'll get riders across the Bay during the closures.
As previously reported, the tracks near the West Oakland station are in urgent need of major maintenance — maintenance so major that they need to completely cease operations through the Transbay Tube.
To accommodate that work, BART trains won't run through the Tube on the weekend of August 1-2 and over Labor Day weekend (September 5-7). Instead, a "bus bridge" will be set up to ferry people between West Oakland and downtown SF, BART told us back at the beginning of June.
According to the Chronicle, however, that bus bridge thing might just be a pipe dream, as BART has only been able to talk AC Transit into hooking them up with 14 buses for the weekends in question.
BART actually needs "48 buses to shuttle passengers across the bay — or enough to accommodate about 2,000 riders an hour," which leaves BART 34 buses short.
Well, hey, what about all those tech buses? Why can't BART just borrow those? According to the Chron, "regulations make it tough to use private coaches," so that might not be an option.
And a bus shortage isn't the only problem riders face during the shutdown, as officials in SF refuse to let BART's buses (assuming they get them!) "clog" Market Street. So East Bay originating riders who are headed further south will be dropped at the temporary Transbay Terminal, which is located at Howard and Beale Streets.
From there, riders must "hoof it several blocks to either the Montgomery or Embarcadero stations" to continue their journey, which sounds especially fun for those headed to SFO with a bunch of luggage.
This might be a good time to note, as we did in the past, that there's a Billy Joel concert set for Saturday, September 5 at AT&T Park. Ordinarily, this seems like the kind of event where visitors from the East Bay would be encouraged to take BART to avoid the area's high parking fees and traffic, but this time? Maybe not so much.