15 August 2009


Cooler heads seemingly have prevailed as BART and its unions came to a tentative agreement on a four-year CBA. It's important to note that the agreement is indeed tentative as rank-and-file members have yet to vote on the deal later this week.

Hopefully a done deal will make the following table little more than trivial:

Not pretty, is it? It's actually a simplified version of something I was working on in case of a BART strike. As I started looking at train, rail, and ferry schedules provided by various transit agencies, palpable dread came over me. Not only would it be inconvenient and time-consuming to even attempt to use many of the alternatives listed above, some like Capitol Corridor are a good deal more expensive.

When we talk about transit to the Coliseum, bus service is never mentioned. Ever wonder why that is? Maybe it's because buses don't have as varnished an image as rail. Maybe it's because of a bus's lack of perceived permanence. From looking at AC Transit's maps and schedules, it may largely be a routing issue.

AC Transit has a series of backbone lines, 72/1/99. Line 72 runs from Richmond to Downtown Oakland, #1 from Downtown Oakland to Bay Fair, #99 from Bay Fair to Fremont. These lines make fairly long distance trips possible without numerous transfers, while routing in many cases within a few blocks of a BART station. However, one major exception is Line 1, which runs along International Blvd/E. 14th for most of its route. In doing this, it makes its closest stop to the Coliseum Complex nearly 3/4 mile away. Local loop buses have to provide feeder service. Not exactly convenient. While it makes more sense for local residents since the current routing serves more of the local population, it doesn't make things easier for event goers.

Amazingly, it seems to be easier if you're coming from San Francisco. That alternative to BART includes one transfer. The trip would take 75 minutes, but at least it's straightforward. I looked for a clean ferry-based route but it didn't exist. The Oakland and Alameda Ferry Terminals don't link directly to buses that run near the Coliseum, forcing additional transfers or a lengthy walk to Downtown. Alameda's Harbor Bay Ferry looks like a good route since it actually connects to a bus (Line 50) that runs to the Coliseum. Unfortunately the ferry itself only runs during weekday commute hours, making it incompatible with baseball crowds.

It stands to reason that the major value propositions for affected fans either would be to choose to drive or simply not attend because of heavier traffic, estimated to be at least 30 minutes in additional travel time when going to the game. Still, I wanted to put this post up to show how bad the backup system is. Of course, if you chose to drive during a BART strike, you might feel perfectly entitled to park at the Coliseum BART parking lot, since there wouldn't be BART users parked there. Then again, many already park there without needing an excuse...