OAKLAND, Calif. — Faced with a transit strike, San Francisco Bay area commuters got out the door earlier than usual Monday and encountered crowded roads and lines for buses and ferries after Bay Area Rapid Transit train workers went on strike.
However, rush hour did not come to a standstill as feared, and some travelers who used carpool lanes and other options added relatively little time to their commutes.
Two of BART’s largest unions went on strike after their contract expired the previous night, halting train service for the first time in 16 years. The walkout promised to affect more than 400,000 riders who use the nation’s fifth-largest rail system and also affect every mode of transportation. Officials said another 60,000 vehicles could be on the road, clogging highways and bridges throughout the region.
Traffic at a toll plaza of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge was heavier than usual early Monday. People also lined up to take buses that were leaving from a few Bay Area Rapid Transit stations.
Alameda-Contra Costa Transit buses into San Francisco carried more passengers, with some waiting for more than a half-hour to board, riders and bus drivers said.
The strike was called after an 11th-hour effort failed to produce a new contract by the deadline of midnight Sunday.