BART pushes up late-night service return

Bay Area

FILE – In this Oct. 15, 2013, file photo, a Bay Area Rapid Transit train departs the MacArthur station in Oakland, Calif. The head of the San Francisco Bay Area commuter train system is apologizing to a black rider who was detained and cited by police for eating a breakfast sandwich on a train platform, BART general manager Bob Powers said in a statement Monday, Nov. 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)

SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) – BART will extend late-night service from 9 p.m. to midnight starting Aug. 2, roughly one month earlier than previously planned, the transit agency said Thursday.

BART’s closing time will return to midnight Monday through Saturday, while Sunday service will remain on an 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. schedule to accommodate infrastructure improvement projects throughout the system.

In addition, the agency plans to add limited late-night service for trains leaving downtown San Francisco on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays between July 15 and July 31.

The late-night service in July will run in addition to the transit agency’s special service for San Francisco Giants and Oakland A’s night games and will depart from Embarcadero and Civic Center stations in San Francisco at 11:30 p.m.

July’s late-night trains will make stops at the 16th Street Mission station in San Francisco and the Daly City, West Oakland, Pleasant Hill, El Cerrito del Norte and Bay Fair stations.

BART had originally planned to expand its service schedule on Aug. 30 in anticipation of workers returning to offices and children returning to in-person classes.

The Aug. 30 expansion itself that BART included in its adopted budget for the 2021-2022 fiscal year was already pushed up from Sept. 13 in the agency’s preliminary budget.

A coalition of business advocacy groups including the Bay Area Council, Golden Gate Restaurant Association and California Music and Culture Association applauded BART’s updated late-night service plan, arguing as BART officials have that the transit agency is vital to the Bay Area’s economic future coming out of the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The group of organizations sent several letters to BART last month calling on the agency to hasten its timeline for resuming late-night service in an effort to buoy the restaurant, tourism and hospitality industries.

“We are thrilled that our organizations’ voices came together and helped bring an urgent issue to the attention of BART, and that it resulted in an immediate solution,” GGRA executive director Laurie Thomas said in a statement. “The conversations that happened and the real desire by the BART Board of Directors, BART staff and BART’s labor partners to quickly find a solution is a testament to how we can solve issues by all working together.”

BART officials said the current plan to expand service in July and early August was made possible by cooperation with the labor unions representing BART workers to expedite the agency’s hiring and training processes.

BART still plans to add more trains to the system, reducing the time between trains during peak and off-peak hours, and offer 50 percent off fare rides in September when riders use a Clipper card.
Train schedules and departure times can be found at https://www.bart.gov/schedules.

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