Protesters shut down West Oakland BART

BART riders trying to get between San Francisco and the East Bay today are being told to find other means of transportation Friday morning as a group of protesters has shut down the West Oakland station, a BART spokeswoman said.

About 15 to 25 protesters have chained themselves to trains on both sides of the West Oakland station, preventing any trains from traveling through the station, said BART spokeswoman Alicia Trost.

Passengers aboard the affected trains have been evacuated and BART police are responding to the protest, which was first reported around 10:45 a.m. and continued as of 11:35 a.m., she said.

The protest is keeping trains from traveling to and from the Transbay Terminal and San Francisco and the West Oakland station, prompting major delays throughout the BART system, the spokeswoman said.

BART is pointing riders to AC Transit, which offers O and NL buses that shuttle passengers between the Transbay Terminal and West Oakland.

Trost said:

“Right now that is the best option.”

Additional BART staff are manning the West Oakland stations and other stations to inform riders of the delays. Trost said there was no estimate for when the West Oakland station would reopen.

Numerous posts on Twitter linked the protest to #Blackout Black Friday, a nationwide campaign meant to bring attention to the August fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown and a grand jury‘s decision earlier this week not to indict the police officer who killed him.