For two weekends the Bay Area will be without transbay BART travel.
Soon San Francisco BART-goers will be temporarily cut off from the East Bay, who in turn will have no BART access to San Francisco.
It’s the kind of disruption that, when due to an accident, causes tens of thousands of BART riders to pull their hair out in frustration. But this halt of BART service is necessary to make “critical repairs” to the transbay tube, according to BART.
“We understand the interruption in service will be a significant inconvenience for tens of thousands of people but we simply can’t avoid making these repairs,” said Paul Oversier, BART assistant general manager for operations, in a statement. “We need to completely rebuild one of the hardest working sections of track in the entire BART system.
The service disruption is planned for Aug. 1-2, from end of service Friday through the end of Sunday, and from Sept. 5-7, from end of service Friday through the end of Monday.
BART plans to close the West Oakland Station, and not run trains between West Oakland and Embarcadero stations. Trains will run, but the San Francisco Bay will not be crossed by BART.
Instead, BART is planning what it calls “lifeline bus service” between 19th Street in Oakland and the temporary Transbay Terminal in San Francisco, at no additional charge.
“No amount of buses will replicate BART transbay service,” BART spokeswoman Alicia Trost told the San Francisco Examiner. “There are people who have to get to work and rely on BART exclusively to do so. This is what we consider lifeline service.”
BART said riders of these buses may experience a one to two hour delay.
Other alternatives include the San Francisco Bay Ferry, which departs from Pier 41 and the Ferry Building to the East Bay, and AC Transit’s website advertises 600 bus stops with service to San Francisco.
So plan ahead, BART riders, and breathe easy once it’s over.
“Once the work is finished,” Oversier said, “riders can expect a faster, smoother ride between West Oakland and Embarcadero.”