Caltrans: Commuters need a Plan B

September 7, 2009 11:58:06 PM PDT
Commuters have already started to put their backup plans in place and transit agencies are warning them to be patient.

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Just the threat of another day without the Bay Bridge is enough to infuriate some commuters.

"I think that's really rude because they told everybody it would be back open," said El Cerrito resident Ashley Williams.

For Oakland resident Marty Newman, a psychotherapist who commutes to the city, no bridge means no paycheck.

"I don't know how I'd get there," said Newman. "I mean it would take me, if I go around the Richmond Bridge into the city, I'm going to have to spend a couple hours doing that. It's going to be packed."

It's not just commuters scrambling for a plan B; transit agencies around the region are implementing contingency plans to brace for record ridership figures.

BART will put all 620 cars in the system on its tracks. Extra station agents, mechanics and drivers will be called in to accommodate 70,000 to 80,000 additional riders.

"One thing we're doing is encouraging people if they have any flexibility in their commute, to either travel earlier or travel later and avoid the big, most busiest time which is usually 7:30 to 9:00," said BART spokesperson Jim Allison.

The lines for ferries to the city were long Monday with people headed to the ball game. Tuesday they will be even longer. Ferries headed to San Francisco from Oakland and Alameda will begin running at 6:00 a.m. and make trips across the bay every half-hour.

East Bay buses that usually cross the bridge will drop passengers off at BART for the trip.

If you thought the Bay Area roadways were bad this holiday weekend, Tuesday's expected bumper-to-bumper delays could make it look like Friday light traffic.

"Find a transit alternative if the Bay Bridge is part of your commute," said John Goodwin with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. "If the Bay Bridge corridor is not part of your commute, anticipate some additional delays on the other bridges."

It is probably safe to say there will be major delays all over the Bay Area on Tuesday. BART is warning riders to avoid the rush hour commutes both in the morning and evening. They say riders traveling to BART stations should try to reserve a parking space through BART's Web site, and to try to use less congested stations like Martinez and Concord.

MORE:

TARGET="_blank"BART information for Tuesday commuters

Live Bay Bridge web cam

East Bay ferries map

Transit alternatives.

www.511.org/baybridge

Baybridgeinfo.org

BayBridgeInfo on Twitter

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