SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Monday was bad. Tuesday was even worse, and Wednesday was lining up to be even more hellish for San Francisco Bay area residents enduring tough commutes after a strike by train workers shut down the region's transportation backbone.
Commutes in the region were thrown into chaos when members of the two largest unions representing Bay Area Rapid Transit workers went on strike early Monday after talks with management broke down. No new talks have been scheduled.
Freeways have choked to a standstill. Lines for ferry service tripled, and boats were crammed to standing-room only.
Buses were stuffed with riders who felt fortunate to be on board after many commuters were literally left in the dust when buses zoomed by without as much as a honk or an explanation.
BART said charter buses at four stations reached capacity before 7 a.m. and could not accommodate any more passengers.
About a hundred people waited single-file at the downtown Berkeley bus station. Some had watched multiple, full F buses cruise past for hours.
"It's already starting to wear on people," said Hilary Hartman, who arrived at San Francisco's Transbay Terminal at 6:45 a.m. Her boss sent her home to work an hour later when she was unable to get on a bus.
"You see the buses trickling in from the East Bay, and it's standing-room only, and people's faces are not super happy when they're getting off," Hartman said.