Get Around - Transit Disruptions
During short-term transit service disruptions, you might need to make an alternate travel plan. 511.org can help you stay informed and get you to your destination as efficiently as possible. Researching your options now means that you'll be prepared in a pinch.
Before heading out, check the Transit Page on 511.org for possible service disruption information. 511.org provides information about major train, cable car, or ferry service disruptions, and transit line, Transbay Tube, or station closures* as soon as we receive it from the appropriate agency. During a disruption, keep checking 511.org to stay informed about possible commute alternatives, temporary shuttles, and other traveler advice. You can also follow 511SFBay on Twitter to receive real-time updates.
Make a backup plan.
Don't wait until a service disruption to learn about the various transit options for your commute. Plan your alternate transit trip with the 511 Transit Trip Planner to ensure you have a backup if your primary service is disrupted. In the Trip Planner, choose “Additional Options” and then exclude your primary agency to find another provider. For example, if you typically take BART home across the Bay, you would exclude BART and could instead find out about alternative AC Transit Transbay service.
Use m.511.org on-the-go.
If you get to your station and find your service disrupted, you can make an alternate trip plan from your mobile device at m.511.org. Use the mobile 511 Transit Trip Planner to find a different route or another transit agency. Don’t forget to exclude your primary agency under “Additional Options” to find other services.
If you get to your station and find your service disrupted, you can also make an alternate trip plan by calling 511. Call 511 and say “transit agencies.” The system will ask what transit agency you want. Say it, or say “I don't know.” If you say “I don't know,” the system will then ask “What city will you be traveling from?” Upon receiving a response, the system provides a list of available transit agencies in that city. Say the agency, and the system transfers to the transit agency menu. Say “operator” to be transferred to a live operator during call center hours; the operator will be able to assist you with making a trip plan.
Consider casual carpooling.
Casual carpooling is different from traditional carpooling in that you don't establish your carpool partners in advance. Just show up at a casual carpool pickup site and wait for a carpool destined for a location near where you want to go. Get familiar with the pick-up and drop-off locations so that you know where to go before a transit service disruption occurs. Visit the Casual Carpool page to access Bay Area casual carpooling information.
Form a carpool.
If the service disruption will be for an extended time, consider joining a carpool. During a transit disruption, many commuters are affected and are looking for carpool partners. Sign up in the 511 RideMatch Service now, and get a list of people you could share a ride with in the event of a disruption. Don't wait until the evening before you need a ride to sign up and call the people on your matchlist.
Try dynamic ridesharing.
Dynamic ridesharing enables drivers and passengers to connect with each other in real time using smartphone applications. Carma allows would-be carpoolers to arrange shared rides on short notice to fill empty seats in a driver’s car. You can also use it to coordinate your casual carpool.
Consider car sharing.
If you have only the occasional need for a vehicle, carsharing may be a good option for you during a transit disruption. Carsharing is a variation on the traditional car renting service, where companies or car owners rent vehicles for shorter periods of time to customers who typically only require a vehicle for local trips or errands. If you have a car, you can join a peer-to-peer carsharing organization to rent your vehicle when it is not in use. The list below includes peer-to-peer and commercial carsharing organizations from around the Bay Area:
Ride a bike.
Bicycling is an excellent way to get around during a transit disruption. You can use the 511 BikeMapper to find possible routes throughout the Bay Area.
If you are commuting by bicycle in San Francisco, download a San Francisco bicycle routes map to help you plan your trip.
Even if you don’t own a bike, the Bay Area BikeShare Program allows you access to bikes across the Bay Area to help you make your trip to work or home, or to make shorter trips around town.
*Note: 511.org does not report minor transit disruptions, such as short bus delays. To stay up-to-date on your bus or train’s current status, please check 511 Departure Times.