Day one of the BART strike turned into a nightmare for many South Bay residents as students and workers scrambled to figure out bus routes, or simmered in traffic as their typical commute times tripled.
At the transit station in Milpitas Friday, Rose Canton was distraught. “I’m going to the Union City BART station and I don’t know how to get there.” Canton is a student at U.C. Berkeley and usually takes the bus to the Fremont BART station, and then rides BART to Berkeley. She was scheduled to meet-up with a fellow student in Union City to study for an important exam. The BART strike is the last thing she needed. “It’s really giving me a hard time. I really want to cry right now.”
Other transit riders waiting for buses steered her to the correct bus to get her to Fremont for a transfer.
The Milpitas station is a transit hub where VTA buses, light rail, and AC transit buses converge. While Canton was the only passenger fighting tears Friday, plenty of others were fuming over the strike.
Tony Sanchez was frustrated by the extra time the bus took, “I work in Hayward. It took two hours, rather than an hour, to get down here. I have to waste more money because the bus was more expensive than BART.”
Even people who don’t ride transit were affected by the strike. Art Enriquez spoke on the phone with his mother after she got to work. “From Milpitas to Mountain View on 237, it usually takes her 10 – 15 minutes. Today it took her almost an hour.”
An outspoken Sarah Coleman blames both management and the unions for the strike, “That’s just messed up. They should have worked it out without inconveniencing so many people.”
Several people wondered aloud how long the strike will last. Right now, no talks are scheduled.