The Bay Area’s Monday commute screeched to a halt right in the middle of the morning rush as a fallen power pole draped a wire across tracks in Oakland, making it impossible to run trains between West Oakland and Embarcadero.
BART announced the problem via Twitter a bit after 8:30 a.m., saying that the downed wire between West Oakland Station and the Transbay tube had stopped all service. West Oakland Station closed entirely a few minutes later.
“Downed power lines are dangerous. We can’t run trains through the area until clear,” the transit service tweeted, adding an apology.
All told the agency took about an hour to get things moving again, as workers removed the offending wire and inspected the tracks to make sure trains could move safely again between the tunnel and West Oakland.
Stranded commuters complained via social media that ridesharing apps immediately surged prices but still ended up with a shortage of cars servicing the area as thousands of mobbed around the blocks outside of stations.
In Jack London Square, the line for the ferry stretched a quarter of a mile, according to one commuter’s estimate. AC transit announced it would honor BART fares during the shortage.
In January, Embarcadero Station averaged nearly 47,000 exits on a weekday and Montgomery Station over 45,000, the majority of them coming via the Transbay tube.
Normal service has now resumed.