Consider yourselves forewarned: BART will run some shuttles instead of trains in the East Bay on Mother’s Day weekend. (Dan Honda/Staff archives)
Q Again this year, BART is closing down a portion of the tracks that connect to the Fruitvale station on Mother’s Day and supplying shuttle buses instead. This causes long delays for people heading out to meet loved ones.
Our daughter has seen people juggling balloons, flowers and gifts while bouncing between the trains and buses, and waiting for additional shuttles to show up since a bus won’t always hold an entire train’s worth of people, causing delays of 20 to 40-plus minutes.
What BART doesn’t seem to realize is that Mother’s Day brunches or other family traditions are difficult to plan when you’re not sure when the attendees will arrive. I understand that they need to shut down from time to time for repairs, but since they have these shutdowns on alternating spring weekends could they schedule them on ones that don’t inconvenience people trying to visit their mothers?
A Yes, the track shutdown on the weekend of May 13-14 will mean extra travel time between Fruitvale and Lake Merritt and be an inconvenience on Mother’s Day, but the weekends selected for this work were identified as having the least impact on the majority of BART’s riders.
BART is renovating a section where trains can move from one set of tracks to another through the movement of rail switches. During the shutdowns, there will be free shuttle buses to get riders to their destinations and extra staff on hand to assist people.
Wish I had better news.
Q I see many electric vehicle charging stations at the BART Warm Springs station, but they are blocked off and not operational. When will they be turned on?
A Soon, maybe just a few weeks. There are currently no working EV charging stations in BART parking facilities but that is going to change quickly. Later this month BART will launch a pilot program at Warm Springs that will feature enough EV charging stations to accommodate 42 vehicles. That will go a long way in helping shape an EV charging policy for BART.
BART had some charging stations back in the 1990s, but the technology evolved and those stations became obsolete.
Meanwhile, there will be 24 EV spots at Milpitas and Berryessa, with an option for nearly 100 additional spots in the future at both stations.
Q Any idea when Morrison Canyon and Mill Creek roads in Fremont will be open to pedestrians, bicycles and dogs?
A The roads are closed to everyone, including walkers and bike riders, due to mudslides. Fremont uses a geologist to determine when it is safe to open the roads. It’s close, so hang in there.
Q Electric car owners will have to pay a $100 fee with this new transportation bill. But why does that fee not start until 2020 while the 12-cent-a-gallon increase in the gas tax happens this year?
A According to transportation officials, it takes time to set up new registration fees, as they are based on the value of the vehicle, while a gas tax hike can go into effect soon.
Follow Gary Richards at Twitter.com/mrroadshow, look for him at Facebook.com/mr.roadshow or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.