BART, AC Transit strikes to affect A’s fans

By now you’re probably aware of the awful gridlock gripping much of the Bay Area because of the BART employees’ strike, which started this morning of months-long negotiations broke down again over the weekend. The employees, who are members of the ATU and SEIU, have been asking for raises to make for recession-era givebacks. The ATU asked Governor Jerry Brown to force an order to keep the trains running while negotiations continued. Brown refused to act, leading to a complete shutdown of trains. (Disclosure: My dad, who retired 2 years ago, was a shop steward for ATU in the South Bay/VTA chapter.)

Whatever your feelings are about the strike, if it goes on throughout the week there will be no BART service to the three-game series against the Cubs, Tuesday through Thursday. BART has attempted to bridge some of the commuter gap by running charter buses between its terminal stations (Fremont, Dublin/Pleasanton, etc.) to San Francisco, but those buses are limited to commute hours. AC Transit is providing extra Transbay buses, while service along the BART spine remains as-is.

AC Transit’s employee contracts were also up last night, so they’re currently working without a contract. There is talk that AC Transit employees will do a one-day walkout as early as Tuesday, which would compound the the East Bay’s transit crisis.

Ferries are experiencing a huge surge in ridership. Unfortunately, fans still need AC Transit (or Capitol Corridor) to get from Jack London Square to the Coliseum.

And not to be left out, the City of Oakland’s non-emergency public employees started their own one-day strike on Monday.

Capitol Corridor is an option that will provide uninterrupted service, despite the fact that its trains are actually operated by BART. While Capitol Corridor isn’t the quickest or most convenient way to get to the Coliseum, it can do in a pinch if you’re set against driving to what will undoubtedly be a more packed Coliseum parking lot. Amtrak even started a promotion this summer that allows riders to pay only $5 each way for companions, up to 5 companions per trip. Capitol Corridor doesn’t have a very frequent schedule late at night, so if you’re considering taking the unelectric train, first check the schedules to see if they work for you.

Fans along the 680 corridor are pretty much screwed from a public transit standpoint. As for South Bay and Peninsula folks, BART was never a direct option unless you drove to Fremont or Millbrae to take BART in the first place. Same goes for North Bay fans, whose transit options to the Coliseum have historically been limited.

BART usually accounts for 15-20% of fans getting to the Coliseum. Tuesday’s date is not a Free Parking Tuesday game, so don’t be shocked if you have to pay – it was on the schedule from the beginning. The A’s haven’t provided any advisories for the series yet, but you can expect to see something tomorrow. The A’s homestand ends Thursday, which should hopefully limit damage if the strike extends through the weekend. The Giants have a six-game homestand starting on Friday starting with a Dodgers series. The A’s return on the 12th with a Red Sox series.

The last BART strike occurred in September 1997, at the end of a particularly dismal season for the A’s (65-97). The A’s weren’t affected in the first two days of the six-day strike as they were on the road. Come Wednesday, September 10, the A’s were greeted by crowds of 4,764 and 6,135 against Toronto.

Advice: Carpool as much as possible. Allow for an extra 30 minutes to get to the ballpark, or leave late (close to 7) to avoid the nastiest part of the commute. Try Capitol Corridor if it works within your schedule. And hope that the different parties can come to their senses and end this mess.

15 thoughts on “BART, AC Transit strikes to affect A’s fans

  1. Of course you can park in the BART lot for free if you don’t want to pay

  2. We got an early bird suite on the 4th. I’m expecting to park somewhere along San Leandro Blvd, since arriving at 8:30am with the tailgating crew isn’t an option, unfortunately. My plan all along was to ride BART and show up at 11:30 when the gates open, but alas.

  3. @All
    My personal feelings to all this is, im not mad for BART employees to want more… infact, whether your a teacher, driver, public worker.. these guys need to be paid.. he problem is Bay Area economics are really out of whack.. with liberals vs conservatives fighting over the bay area wealth… sigh.. we the poor always lose…but im sure it will get resolved… hey if i was working for BART (even though i disapprove of the way the use nephewtism when hiriing) its still a great job and not do much… lol

  4. There’s no chance Capitol Corridor runs an extra late-night train on Tuesday and/or Wednesday nights to help the 680 corridor, is there? Even coming from Downtown Oakland or Berkeley, (I don’t drive) I feel totally screwed for getting to the night games. Capitol Corridor schedules should work for Thursday, but they just don’t run trains late enough at night to work for night games.

  5. Anyone wanna play the guessing game for tonight’s paid attendance? I say 13,754.

    I had to cancel my game plans tonight. Gosh darn newphewtism!

  6. Leaning towards skipping the game tomorrow since I’m envisioning a 3 hour drive from Sunnyvale. At least I’d still count as paid attendance.

  7. Looks like a lot of people are skipping the game. The A’s are selling tickets for the next hour for $5.

  8. The $5 Capital Corridor fare is unavailable on Train 542 (that leaves Great America at 4:34p tomorrow) but the A’s discount code h230 still works for 25% off adult fares on that train. The discount code doesn’t require 24 advance booking either like the $5 deal.

  9. The ride on the 880 tonight was pretty typical, no better, no worse. Announced attendance was 17k; looking around I guessed 14-15 so the no-shows weren’t too bad. Cubs fans have a bit of a bad rep but those that turned up were fairly mellow.

    Great game, if that matters.

    I’m not gonna make projections for tomorrow since it’s a goofy fireworks crowd and what not.

    Similarly, no comment upon the striking BART workers, but some of them should petition for a weight-loss program in their next contract.

  10. The facts are though that the Supreme Court appears to be anti MLB ATE, may be looking for a way to overturn it, and the SJ vs. MLB case may give them an opportunity to do so. Justice John Paul Stevens recently gave the opinion that MLB has little chance of retaining its territorial rights privledge. Also (in 2010) the NFL attempted to gain a similiar territorial rights status as MLB’s – however was rejected 9-0 by a SCOTUS ruling.

    The pro-MLB/giants arguments such as the Forbes story, or the Craig Calcaterra story (from NBC sports) appear to be lame, and don’t offer much substance.

  11. Howard Terminal Park vs. Cisco Field???

    Who will win this epic battle…
    Also the Cubs vs A’s was sssooo fun yesterday… just wish Lew Wolff would build a nice small inexpensive ballpark right next to the Coliseum… it could work… o well..

  12. @aaron,
    Howard Terminal Park? I have yet to see renderings of this ballpark or other plans as well (ie completed EIR, financing plan, naming rights partner, etc). If they exist please share Aaron; would love to see! (serious enquiry, not trying to be a smart ass)

  13. How about Chan Ho PARK vs. Josh FIELDS? Those two def exist, yo. No so epic, tho. Sux. I kno.

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