Stop me if you’ve heard this before.... :^(
PLAN AHEAD. If you will be here next month, be aware that BART unions and management are still struggling with contract negotiations—and to many of us, they don’t appear to be struggling very hard. They piddled away several weeks of the 60-day “cooling off period” that began in August. Only in the last couple weeks did they even start meeting with each other again. Now we are just under 3 weeks from the deadline and from the statements coming from both sides, they are not even close.
There is a possibility of another strike if there is no contract by October 10. Those who were here for the 4-day strike in July remember what a nightmare it was. It was summer, and July 4 holiday week; many working people were away, schools were mostly out, and no big conventions were here. We won’t have any of those mitigating factors next month. Not only is everyone back in town, but the American Society of Anesthesiologists meeting will bring 16,500 attendees on October 12 (many of whom may arrive early) and October 7-13 is Fleet Week.
BART is training some managers to operate a few trains for peak hours in case of a strike, but a few trains won’t handle the 300,000 bodies that BART hauls each day. Other transit systems will run more buses, trains, and boats, but all of the Bay Area's body haulers combined cannot replace BART. There may be modified procedures on some bridges and freeways, like longer HOV lane hours, but there will be a huge increase in private cars on the roads.
If you’re coming here around October 10, keep an eye or ear on local news media and these forums. We’ll try to help you out, but there's no way to sugar-coat it; it will be a region-wide headache and a PITB that even 16,500 anesthesiologists can't fix.