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BART back on track after service shutdown

Julie Caine

After a full shutdown of service between San Francisco and Oakland since early this morning, transbay BART service is now fully restored, but the agency is warning commuters to expect delays. AC Transit spokesman Clarence Johnson said at least 20 extra buses will shuttle passengers across the bay at no cost; 511.org is reporting that these buses will run until about 6pm. The San Francisco Bay Ferry service will also deploy two extra ferries per hour.

At around noon, the San Francisco Temporary Transbay Terminal was relatively calm, although, dozens of people were waiting for Oakland and Berkeley-bound buses.

Meanwhile, fully-packed AC Transit buses kept arriving from the East Bay every couple of minutes and offloaded passengers. Some of them looked lost and asked for directions to Market Street and other destinations. Additional AC Transit employees were placed around the Terminal to help orient passengers.

Natalie Hopkins was waiting for a bus to take her home to Oakland – her second bus ride today across the Bay. "I took bus pretty early, so I was on time, but the bus was crowded," she said.

Berkeley student Sean Gonzalez was also waiting to head home, but he didn't seem to mind a longer wait. "There is a place to get across the bridge, so as long as I get picked up and get across the bridge, it doesn't really matter to me," said Gonzalez.

Jordan Breslow, also from Oakland, works in the San Francisco Financial District. His commute was longer than the actual time he spent in the office today.

“I commuted in by carpool. It took me a very long time to get here and I decided to turn around and go back before everyone else in the world tries to go back to the East Bay,” said Breslow. “I have managed to show my face in the office and remind them that I still work there and then go home.”

Other commuters might also want to head home early. At midday, the situation seemed calm and under control, but it might change dramatically as the evening commute begins.

For more information, visit 511.org or 511alert.blogspot.com. Find photos and tweets collected by BART about service interruption here.