bay bridge | 511 Contra Costa

How to ‘Casual Carpool’

Did you know you can catch a ride across the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge without an app for an average cost of $1? You can! And it’s not a new service, it’s Casual Carpool – helping commuters reduce their travel time between San Francisco & the East Bay for almost 40 years.

Offering a dollar to the driver (to contribute to the $2.50 toll and gas) is just one of the ‘unspoken’ rules of Casual Carpool. Watch this short video featuring interviews with regular riders!

There are locations as close to the Bridge as Oakland, Berkeley & El Cerrito, and as far out as Lafayette and Hercules.

Have You Tried the Bay Bridge's Bike/Pedestrian Path?

(Two people enjoying the toll-free, bicycle-pedestrian path along the new Bay Bridge span.  Photo credit: Sharon Hahn Darlin)
The bicycle and pedestrian path along the new East Bay span of the Bay Bridge has proved incredibly popular, even though one still can’t completely reach San Francisco by bicycle or foot. People just really like recreating outdoors, enjoying breath-taking views in one of the most beautiful parts of California– who knew?
Have yet to go for a walk or ride? Enjoy a virtual tour of ascending and descending the bicycle-pedestrian path by bike, courtesy of KQED SCIENCE:

(Ascending. Video credit: KQED SCIENCE)

(Descending. Video credit: KQED SCIENCE)
Once completed all the way to San Francisco, popularity of the bicycle-pedestrian path will surely soar, for both commuting and recreational purposes. However, until then, the completed East Bay span still provides some unique and fantastic views worth seeing. If you’d like to check out the new path, be sure to get details about how to access the path (helpful map included) and its winter hours from the bridge’s website.

BART service during Labor Day Weekend 2013 San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge Closure

Bay Bridge
BART will run around the clock during the Bay Bridge Closure scheduled for this Labor Day Weekend. The Bay Bridge will be closed to take the original East Span out of service and to open the new East Span to traffic. Here’s what’s you need to know.
Wednesday, August 28
8 PM: Bay Bridge closes to all traffic in both directions. Read more about the closure at
Thursday, August 29 – Monday, September 2
BART will run 24 hours a day with limited service at the following 14 stations and with transfers only at MacArthur Station:
East Bay

  • 12th St./Oakland City Center
  • Bay Fair
  • Coliseum/Oakland Airport
  • Concord
  • Downtown Berkeley
  • Dublin/Pleasanton
  • El Cerrito del Norte
  • MacArthur (T)
  • Walnut Creek

San Francisco

  • 24th St. Mission
  • Daly City
  • Embarcadero
  • Powell St.
  • San Francisco International Airport

Download BART’s detailed schedule to see exact times for each station.
Note: Trains will not run overnight Monday into Tuesday so BART may carry out required maintenance work and inspections. 
On Monday, Labor Day, September 2, BART will run trains on a Saturday schedule.
Tuesday, September 3
5 AM: Bay Bridge reopens. Following the safe rerouting of traffic to the new East Span, the original East Span will be demolished, a process will take approximately three years.

For more information, visit

Year in Review: 2012


Image credit: David Yu

511CC’s 2012 Year in Review

From the Caldecott Tunnel breakthrough to Bay Area transit agencies celebrating milestones for service, 2012 was a great year for biking, transit and transportation. Here are some of this year’s top stories.

Top Tweets

Some of our most popular tweets (number of link clicks) in 2012 linked to these articles:

BART pedestrian origin outliers
Image credit: Eric Fischer

2012 highlights

Here are some transportation highlights from the year.
511 Freeway Aid


  • LAVTA retrofits 30 Wheels buses to make boarding with strollers easier

Union Pacific from near Pinole, CA facing west

Image credit: Steve C.






Image credit: torbakhopper



Image credit: Karl Nielsen/Metropolitan Transportation Commission



Image credit:  Bay Area Rapid Transit archives


Amtrak's Capitol Corridor

Opening of Municipal Railway, San Francisco

Image credit: SFMTA / John Henry Mentz

For more interesting articles and tips on biking, transit, and transportation in the Bay Area don’t miss our Twitter feed and our blog.

Bay Bridge Eastbound detour in Oakland to begin Memorial Day weekend

Today, Caltrans announced a detour for motorists driving into Oakland across the Bay Bridge beginning Memorial Day weekend.

Motorists driving on the lower deck of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge will experience a slightly different approach into Oakland after this Memorial Day weekend. While speed limits will remain the same, eastbound drivers should be prepared for the small detour as they emerge from under the upper deck.

Construction for this detour will not require a full bridge closure. While the bridge will remain open for the holiday weekend, select eastbound lanes will be closed from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. on Saturday, May 28 and Sunday, May 29. Eastbound traffic will still have access during these limited lane closures and westbound traffic will not be impacted.
Bay Bridge Explorer
Also announced today was the release of Bay Bridge Explorer, a mobile driving simulator for iPhone, iPad and iPod that allows users to drive on the Bay Bridge.
Continue reading “Bay Bridge Eastbound detour in Oakland to begin Memorial Day weekend”

How to get to San Francisco for $1

Did you know there’s a way to get from the East Bay to San Francisco in twenty minutes for $1?
The only catch – you need a bike.
Caltrans runs a Bay Bridge Bike Shuttle during weekday commute hours. These are the times when bikes aren’t allowed on BART, so it’s a bike-friendly (and cheaper) substitute.
The shuttle connects the MacArthur BART station and the Transbay Terminal. It only seats 14, and almost always fills up in the typical commute direction, so be advised to arrive at least 10 minutes early leaving Oakland in the morning and SF in the evening.

Leave Oakland Leave San Francisco
6:20 a.m. 6:40 a.m.
7:00 a.m. 7:25 a.m.
7:45 a.m. 8:10 a.m.
8:30 a.m.
Leave San Francisco Leave Oakland
3:50 p.m. 4:15 p.m.
4:40 p.m. 5:05 p.m.
5:30 p.m. 5:55 p.m.
6:15 p.m.

From the Caltrans website.
Moey M. of Yelp writes:
i can’t believe this shuttle gets anything less than 5 stars from anyone. it is one of the best services out there for bay area bike commuters. at a cost of a mere $1 to get over the bridge, the value is unbeatable.
i’ve never found it to be ridiculously crowded, but i travel in the reverse direction (live in SF, work in east bay) so maybe i have it easy.
would i like the shuttle to run more often? sure. do i wish the east bay riders would be less rude and pushy while we unload? totally. do the drivers occasionally thwart my plans by leaving a minute or two early? ugh, yes. even so, this shuttle deserves five glowing, radiant, commute-friendly stars from the bottom of my cyclist heart.
i love you caltrans bike shuttle!

Visit the BART website for more information on MacArthur BART Station. Note that the parking lot typically fills up by 7 AM.
Photo credit: Flickr/elithebearded

This Week’s Headlines in Transportation & Transit: Jul 3-9, 2010

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West Span Bay Bridge Bicycle and Pedestrian Pathway Moves Closer to Reality

Good news for those hoping to make the journey from Yerba Buena Island to San Francisco by foot or bicycle! Plans for a bicycle and pedestrian pathway across the western span of the Bay Bridge may be one step closer towards fruition.
The state Assembly Committee on Transportation passed Senate Bill 1061, which would allow a portion of Bay Bridge toll funds to be spent on the project, yesterday afternoon. The bill passed the Senate on June 1 and will now go to the state Assembly Committee on Appropriations to determine whether the Bay Area Toll Authority should be permitted to use toll funds on construction of the pathway. If the bill passes, the pathway will open in 4 years.
The largest hindrance to the bill is cost- the original cost was estimated to be between $168 and $350 million 10 years ago and  a new estimate will not be available until spring 2011. Additionally, toll funds are restricted due to safety costs.
MacDonalds Architects have proposed a design for the pathway, which would provide a “unique means for [pedestrians and cyclists] crossing the bay.” The plans include a plaza for visitor congregation, lampposts in place every 60 feet, and accessibility points for wheelchairs, bicycles, pedestrians, and maintenance vehicles.
Image by macinate

This Week’s Headlines in Transportation & Transit: May 22-28, 2010

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This Week's Headlines in Transportation & Transit: May 8-14, 2010

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This week's headlines in transportation & transit: Mar. 13-19, 2010

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This Week’s Headlines in Transportation & Transit: Mar. 6-12, 2010

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Big week for Bay Bridge: First section of SAS lifted and partnership with Google Earth

Last week was a big week for the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. On Wednesday, it reached a construction milestone as the first section of its Self-Anchored Suspension Span (SAS) was lifted into place. On Thursday, Caltrans and Google held a joint press conference (also webcast live) to announce a partnership involving Google Earth. Users who have the program installed can now see completed portions of the Bay Bridge in 3D, as well as sections that have yet to be added.
Bay Bridge construction milestone reached as first section is lifted in place
The first section weighed 1,020 tons and was nearly 84 feet long and arrived on January 21, 2010. On Wednesday, February 3, it was lifted by a 400- by 100-foot shear leg crane barge, the largest on the West Coast. The new East Span is expected to be open to both westbound and eastbound traffic in 2013.
For detailed Bay Bridge photos, videos and more, visit the award-winning website:
Sections of Bay Bridge now viewable in 3D with Google Earth

(Credit: Josh Lowensohn/CNET)

Continue reading “Big week for Bay Bridge: First section of SAS lifted and partnership with Google Earth”

This Week’s Headlines: Jan. 30-Feb. 5, 2010

Happy Friday! If you haven’t been following 511CC on Twitter, here’s a summary of this week’s transit news affecting Contra Costa County and the Bay Area:

This Week's Headlines: Jan. 23-29, 2010

If you haven’t been following 511CC on Twitter, here’s what’s happening in Contra Costa County and Bay Area transit news that we tweeted or blogged about in the past week:

Massive Deck Sections for Bay Bridge's Self-Anchored Suspension Span Arrive

Nearly 6,800 Tons of Steel for New Iconic East Span
Oakland, Jan. 21, 2010–The first of 28 immense deck sections for the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge’s new Self-Anchored Suspension Span (SAS) arrived in the San Francisco Bay today after a trans-Pacific voyage. The SAS is the most iconic element of the bridge’s new East Span.
The eight deck sections, and several cross beams that will link the span’s east- and westbound decks, weigh nearly 6,800 tons. These first sections will be used to build the western end of the SAS. Future shipments will include sections of the span’s single 525-foot-tall tower.
Continue reading “Massive Deck Sections for Bay Bridge's Self-Anchored Suspension Span Arrive”

Lane Closure Information for Bay Bridge Eyebar Repair Project


Photo courtesy of Caltrans.
Were you stuck on the bay bridge traffic this week… yet again?
If you were commuting at night, gridlock was most likely due to the lane closures that began on Friday, December 11. (However–come to think of it–we’re not convinced it wasn’t also Lady Gaga and the 49ers).
Why the bottleneck? Labor Day weekend, workers discovered and repaired a crack in an eyebar on the bridge. In late October, the section underwent additional work. Last weekend, workers began a repair project on the eyebar that is expected to last three weeks. Until the completion of the project, factor the nightly closure of three westbound lanes and one eastbound lane into your travel plans.
Detailed information on Bay Bridge lane closures:
Wednesday (12/16/09) afternoon:
Upper deck (westbound) far left lane will be closed from Noon to 3 PM
Thursday (12/17/09) afternoon:
Upper deck (westbound) far left lane will be closed from Noon to 3 PM
Lower deck (eastbound) far left lane will be closed from 7 AM – 2 PM
Upper Deck (Westbound)
Three left lanes will be closed Sunday through Thursday: 10 PM – 5 AM
Friday nights: 11 PM – 8 AM
Saturday nights: 11 PM – 9:30 AM
Lower Deck (Eastbound)
Far right lane will be closed Sunday through Thursday: 10 PM – 7:00 AM
Friday nights: 11 PM – 8:00 AM
Saturday nights: 11:30 PM – 9:30 AM
Additional information:
For daily updates on lane closures, visit the Bay Bridge Closures & Detours page.
Visit’s Bay Bridge information page for a map of alternate routes and transportation alternatives.
You lost me at ‘eyebar’. No worries–view detailed information and illustrations for the repair at:

Bay Bridge Still Closed

Nov 1st and the Bay Bridge is still closed.  How have you adjusted your travel patterns? Let us know by commenting here.  Caltrans hopes to have it open as soon as safely possible.
in the meantime, the best thing to do is carpool, use mass transit, use the ferries or telework.  A few programs to help you with remote access while you telework are Team Viewer and GoToMyPC.
The Bay Bridge is closed 11/1/2009 and may not will not open in time for Monday’s commute. See for more info. also has a list of transportation alternatives. BART will not be running 24 hour service Sunday night 11/1.

Bay Bridge Closed

Update: Check out our updated Bay Bridge info page for updated info.
Update: A few pieces of the Bay Bridge snapped and fell onto the upper deck of the Eastern span of the Bay Bridge. As a result, the Bay Bridge is closed indefinitely:
BART will operate longer trains during normal hours this evening and staff additional drivers on Wednesday as needed.
Capitol Corridor is canceling all connecting busses to San Francisco and suggests using BART to reach San Francisco. Riders can change to BART at Richmond Station.
AC Transit – “For the morning, weekday commute (until the bridge reopens), AC Transit will run regular service; however, buses will detour to four East Bay BART stations — as they did during the Labor Day bridge closure — so that passengers can continue to downtown San Francisco on BART. ”
Read more:

From SFGate
From SFGate
From SFGate

BART to Operate 24 Hours a Day During 2009 Labor Day Weekend Bay Bridge Closure

bart_logo_300Starting this Friday, September 4, BART will be running trains 24 hours a day during the September 4th – 7th Bay Bridge closure. The trains will run hourly to 14 stations.
Stations with overnight service:

  • 24th Street Mission
  • Bay Fair (parking available)
  • Coliseum/Oakland Airport (parking available)
  • Concord (parking available)
  • Daly City (parking available)
  • Downtown Berkeley
  • Dublin/Pleasanton (parking available)
  • El Cerrito Del Norte (parking available)
  • Embarcadero
  • MacArthur (parking available, timed BART transfer point)
  • Oakland City Center/12th St. (timed BART transfers, AC Transit transfer point)
  • Powell Street
  • San Francisco International Airport
  • Walnut Creek(Parking Available)

For more info on BARTs overnight trains during the Bay Bridge closure check out the BART news page.