BART strike leaves commuters scrambling to get around Bay Area 

click to enlarge Transbay Terminal
  • alex leber/special to the s.f. examiner
  • Anxious commuters wait to catch a bus out of The City at the Transbay Terminal on Monday.

Aisling Farrell and Shauna Scanlon stood at Howard and Beale streets just outside the temporary Transbay Terminal, trying to make heads or tails of where they ended up after a long commute to San Francisco on Monday morning.

Though they knew there would be a BART strike, they didn't expect to be completely on their own trying to cross the Bay.

"There wasn't anyone there to help," said Farrell, 23, a Berkeley resident.

The women left their house around 8 a.m. in hopes of making it to the office on time, but by 10:30 a.m. they had just arrived in San Francisco.

"It was terrible," Scanlon, 21, said. "It was hot, it was packed."

Scanlon and Farrell weren't the only ones looking for quick ways to get to work once the finally reached San Francisco. Many commuters exiting AC Transit buses rushed to nearby Muni coaches, while others tried to hail cabs.

Mike Eppink had the opposite problem. The San Francisco resident was trying to get to Alameda for a job interview. He, too, left at 8 a.m. and rode the 14-Mission bus to the Transbay Terminal, only to wait another 45 minutes for an already late AC Transit bus.

"I gave it some good leeway," he said. "It was a good solid hour on Muni. It is what it is."

Commuters going to and from San Francisco on Monday had to contend with the effects of a BART strike after workers called the work stoppage late Sunday when negotiations over a new contract fell apart. Transit organizations — including AC Transit, Muni and ferries across the Bay — did what they could to brace for the increase in passengers.

By the end of the work day, many commuters had succumbed to the idea that they'd have to continue to wake up early and use alternate routes for the foreseeable future, as there was no indication late Monday that the strike would end today.

"I woke up earlier just to make it to work at the same time," said Beatriz Arostegui, 22, who took the ferry home Monday afternoon.

Arostegui was joined by hundreds of her fellow East Bay residents at the Ferry Building who started lining up by 4 p.m. to make it home at a decent hour.

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