Though BART has managed to scare up enough buses to shuttle passengers across the bridge during two late-summer weekend service shutdowns, they warn that those buses are only for people who have no other choice but to travel, and that everyone else — not just BART riders — should just stay home.
You already know the deal: BART will not be running trains across the Bay the weekend of August 1-2, and over Labor Day, September 5-7, so they can perform some urgently-needed track repairs. (To be clear, BART will be running as usual in SF and the East Bay, it's just the trip across the Bay that will be disrupted.)
Though there were concerns at one point that they wouldn't be able to score enough buses to get riders across the Bay Bridge, at a media event yesterday the transit agency announced that through the largesse of AC Transit, Golden Gate Transit, SamTrans and Muni they had managed to set up a bus bridge...but it won't be pretty.
According to BART, the bridge will run between the 19th Street station and SF's temporary Transbay Terminal, but is “only for those who have no other options,” the agency said in a statement.
Some riders those weekends might have to endure delays as long as 1-2 hours, BART said. On the upside, rides on the slow bus across the bridge will be free, the Chron reports. Yay?
But it's not just riders who will feel the pain of the BART shutdown, KQED reports. Between the 94 buses that will be moving BART riders and "an anticipated 15,000 to 20,000 more vehicles crossing the Bay Bridge," traffic on the bridge is expected to be a shitshow.
“With 100,000 transbay BART riders being displaced, there will be traffic,” BART staffer Bob Franklin told KQED. “We encourage people to stay on their side of the bay.”
Sean Nozzari, the deputy director of traffic operations for Caltrans backed Franklin up, saying that while on an average weekend you can expect delays on the Bay Bridge in the 15-20 minute range, on the no-BART weekends those could “easily double to about 30 to 60 minutes.”
That won't be the only challenge facing drivers those weekends: according to the Chron, SF's Essex Street on-ramp to the Bay Bridge and Oakland's West Grand Avenue on-ramp will be bus-only those weekends, which is sure to confuse drivers unaware of the temporary change.
“What we need motorists to do is to help avoid any nonessential trips across the bridge,” Nozzari told KQED.
“If they do have to travel, we ask that they allow additional time during their travel and use alternate routes.”