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BART Strike Proving a Boon for Transportation Apps

There’s nothing like a disruption in the transportation system to see how dependent we have become on the current modes operating at peak efficiency. When something like a bridge closure or work stoppage happens, suddenly it’s a big fat traffic mess out there.

This week, of course, it is the BART strike that is raising almost everyone’s blood pressure. Luckily, there are also a lot of ride- and car-sharing services and apps that can help ease at least some of the pain for those trying to move around the Bay Area.

I’ll include a list at the bottom of this post, but one of the leaders in ride-sharing is SF-based Sidecar.

“We have seen a significant increase in ride requests and drivers on the road as a result of the BART strike,” says Sidecar’s Margaret Ryan. “In times of crisis, this is when alternative transportation services like Sidecar are at their best. The community comes together, idle assets like empty car seats are utilized and the entire city benefits.”

Ryan added, “As of 9:30 Monday morning we had 50 percent more drivers out on the road than last Monday and saw a 40 percent increase in rides. We also saw more than double the number of new Sidecar accounts created Monday as people looked for BART alternatives to get into and around the city.”

On Tuesday and Wednesday, the trend continued. “We had 25 percent more drivers out on the road during Tuesday morning’s commute and gave 50 percent more rides during Wednesday morning's commute. We are running additional trainings throughout the week in order to let anyone who wants to assist by ridesharing do so during the strike. As of Monday we had double the number of driver applications than we had the previous week.”

Ryan added, “In order to help during rush hour and keep congestion to a minimum, we reached out to our entire network of Bay Area community drivers and asked them to gives rides whenever they can to help ease the impact of the BART strike. We also asked all of our East Bay drivers to turn on their driver app whenever they commute, so that they can fill their unoccupied seats and help additional commuters get into and out of the city.”

Sidecar said it will donate its normal share of passenger donations during the strike so that all of its drivers earn 100 percent of donations between 6 am and 7 pm on weekdays. People who want to help out during the strike by becoming a driver can sign up at www.side.cr/drivers.

Other services/apps to check out:

If you are driving your own car and trying to navigate around the gridlock, you may want to use the crowd-sourced “Livemap” available from Waze.

And, for finding parking places in the city, try Park.IT or VoicePark to help you avoid getting costly parking tickets.