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Two of BART’s largest unions went on strike after their contract expired the previous night, halting train service for the first time in 16 years.

The walkout promised to derail more than 400,000 riders who use the nation’s fifth-largest rail system and affect every mode of transportation. Transportation officials said another 60,000 vehicles could be on the road, clogging highways and bridges throughout the region.

Traffic at a toll plaza of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge was heavier than usual early Monday. People also lined up to take buses that were leaving from a few Bay Area Rapid Transit stations.

Alameda-Contra Costa Transit buses into San Francisco carried more passengers, with some waiting for more than a half-hour to board, riders and bus drivers said.

… Alejandro Illidj, 20, woke up two hours earlier than usual to get to his job at Nordstrom in San Francisco, but he had to wait for a bus with room to accommodate him.

“More power to the unions, but at the end of the day, how are we supposed to get to work?” said Illidj, a University of California, Berkeley student. “How is the economy supposed to work?”

The strike was called after an 11th-hour effort failed to produce a new contract by the deadline of midnight Sunday. Both the unions and management said they were far apart on key sticking points including salary, pensions, health care and safety. BART workers picketed outside stations Monday.

The Washington Post, "San Francisco Bay Area Public Transit Appears More Crowded With Train Strike"