As of 9:30 am, BART is still reporting a total shutdown of service between Oakland and San Franciso due to an early morning building fire that broke out at a senior housing center near the station which caused track damage.
The agency states that it hopes to have single track service running between the two cities by the afternoon, and in the meantime urged passengers to take other forms of transit to work including ferry, casual carpool or bus service.
BART service remains operational in the East Bay and between San Francisco and Peninsula stations.
AC Transit bus service was highly impacted as well. At least eight bus lines were diverted to take BART passengers to San Francisco from Oakland BART stations, including MacArthur, 19th Street and Fruitvale, according to AC Transit spokesperson Clarence Johnson. AC Transit lines diverted include: the 57, 51, 72, 72R, 62, 40, 31, N, L, C and CB, Johnson said, and passengers throughout the system can expect delayed service today. “When something like this happens, everyone needs to share in the pain,” Johnson said. “It’s not an easy circumstance for anybody.”
In the meantime, passengers are reporting long waits for transbay bus service, particularly at the transbay bus stop near the MacArthur BART station. “I saw the line and said, ‘Screw that. I’m going to Remedy,’” said Oakland North reader Dave Schumaker, who was at the bus stop around 9 am.
Oakland North reader Samantha Pollack, who lives a few blocks from West Oakland BART, said that she woke up this morning to the sound of helicopters circling the scene. “The easiest thing to do was to work from home, and I’m grateful that I’m able to,” she wrote by email. “I took a walk over to check out the scene, it was sad to see the [senior housing] complex burned nearly completely to the ground. Everything is gone except the concrete substructure. Crews were walking along the tracks checking things out, the gas station was shut down and people were wondering around asking for alternative ways to get to the City. Mandela was blocked off at the intersection of 7th St. and trucks were being rerouted down 7th. I have to say though that it has actually been quite enjoyable not hearing BART go by every 3 minutes and to not have our streets crowded with cars parked to use BART.”
Oakland North reader Tom Taylor proposed a new way of getting around the BART shutdown: “I’m building a refugee raft at the Berkeley marina from discarded kombucha mothers and weaves,” he wrote. (Actually, he admitted, “In all fairness I’m sitting in a compound in western Saudi Arabia only commiserating with the plight of my friends back home.”)
Have a story of a slow commute, or an alternative way you’re getting to work? Share it in the comments here! Have a picture of lines or traffic where you are, or a creative way of getting around without BART? Please email us at staff [at] OaklandNorth [dot] net.