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Bay Area Revised Transit

Caleb Pershan | July 1, 2013 | Lifestyle Story City Life

With BART on strike, the bridge mobbed, and the ferry overrun, what's a commuter to do but get creative? This is a sink or swim situation, and we're suggesting that you literally swim (just wait until your coworkers see you in your snazzy wetsuit). If you aren't up to that particular challenge—there have been shark sightings recently— here's a list of other bright commuting ideas for these dark times.

Craigslist Rescue: Ridesharing doesn't need to come with a pink mustache and awkward conversation. Try craigslist for likeminded commuters, many of whom are already posting their BART strike related carpooling pleas and offers. Respond to this ad and you could be whizzing past traffic on the back of a Harley Davidson. The fee is unlisted, but "if the price is right," says your new ride, "I will be your personal driver for as long as you need me." He has extra helmets, but bring your own leather jacket and beard.

Heli-Commute: Helicopter tours of the Bay aren't usually for transit (or locals) but they could make an unbeatably dramatic commute. You'll feel like the POTUS ducking your head to get into your own chopper. Soar over the bay, take a detour around the Golden Gate, and maybe stop for coffee in Sausalito. Finally, enter your office via the roof—descend on ropes if you want to get fancy, or better yet, skydiving anyone?

Bikeshuttle Shuffle: During rush hour, Caltrans bikeshuttle will take you and your bike from Temescal to SOMA, thrice a morning and in the afternoon for just a dollar. Don't have a bike? Buy a cheap one and it's your ticket to a great way around the Bay. This is one of the best deals around, and it hurts us to share it because the lack of crowds is a perk.

Get Disruptive Never missing a chance to take advantage of government inefficiences, here the ridesharing apps are coming to the rescue. According to ridesharing app Sidecar, their ridership was up 40% this morning. The company says its doing a full-court press for East Bay commuters, having "asked all of our East Bay drivers to turn on their driver app whenever they commute." And according to Silicon Beat, uber has also seen a rise in demand, particualrly from the East Bay.

Kayak Kommute: Swing over to REI in Berkeley and get yourself in a new kayak, or better yet, rent one from these guys in the Oakland Estuary. Seakayaking is great fun, a fantastic arm workout, and a totally practical way to get to work. Most kayaks have space for storage in the hull, so throw your laptop in a waterproof bag and paddle to work.

Send a Surrogate: This is San Francisco, the capital of high tech solutions to simple problems. Why not send your iPad in to work for you? Just leave this robot —part Segway, part Skype—in the office, where it'll display your face on the screen and use the iPad's cameras for you to see and steer. You can remotely visit meetings and even roll over to the water cooler. This thing doesn't even need coffee!

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