New budget cleans trains, improves service


New budget cleans trains, improves service

New budget cleans trains, doubles SFO/Millbrae service, improves night/weekend service

On Thursday, June 14, the BART Board of Directors approved a $627.4 million Fiscal Year 2008 (FY08) Operating Budget. The budget makes substantial improvements to the overall customer experience by:

  • Doubling the number of trains serving most stations on the SFO/Millbrae line
  • Making train cars cleaner by adding more car cleaning positions
  • Making stations and other facilities brighter with improved lighting
  • Cutting time between trains at night Monday-Saturday and all day on Sundays/holidays· Raising the bar on BART's on-time performance standard
  • Enhancing BART's award-winning website

"This budget is all about improving the customer experience," BART Board President Lynette Sweet said today. "After years of severe belt-tightening, the revenues are finally coming back and we are spending the extra money on our riders. After all, we are nothing without them."

The budget takes effect July 1, 2007 and ends June 30, 2008.

NIGHT AND SUNDAY SERVICE IMPROVEMENTS
The Board decided to move forward with a plan to cut the time between trains from 20 minutes to 15 at night Monday through Saturday and all day Sunday & holidays that operate on a Sunday schedule starting January 1, 2008. This comes despite the deep budget cuts Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has proposed for public transit. The Board is counting on the State Legislature to restore transit funding so BART can pay for the improved night and Sunday service.

"We want the public to know that this Board is firmly behind improving BART service," said BART Director Joel Keller who led the effort to include the enhanced night and Sunday service in the new budget. "Right now, the Governor's proposed cuts make this financially infeasible. We're hoping the legislature will show its support for public transit by restoring those funds so we can deliver this enhanced service January 1st."

CLEANER TRAINS, BRIGHTER STATIONS
The FY08 Operating Budget anticipates an additional $8.9 million in revenues to improve service for riders. BART will spend a portion of the money on its nearly 350,000 daily passengers by adding 24 new cleaning positions to make trains and stations cleaner. This will bring the total number of car cleaning positions to 115, an all time high. There's also money to brighten stations with better lighting.

"Our 2006 Customer Satisfaction Survey showed us that overwhelmingly riders love BART ? giving us an 85% satisfaction rating," BART Board President Lynette Sweet said. "While any public agency would envy this rating, riders did speak loudly and clearly on one thing ? cleanliness. They want our trains to be tidier. This budget does exactly that."

ON-TIME PERFORMANCE
The budget strives to raise the bar on passenger on-time performance. The Board increased the goal from a 94% passenger on-time standard to a 96% standard. Currently, BART's passenger on-time performance averages 95%. BART hopes to increase on-time performance in part by hiring part-time paramedics to address medical emergencies faster at key stations during commute hours, increasing train operator staffing, and beefing up its preventative maintenance program to improve the reliability of train cars.

ENHANCED SFO/MILLBRAE SERVICE
The newly approved budget will greatly enhance service for customers on the five-station, SFO/Millbrae Extension by reconfiguring the lines and adding extra trains. The five stations on the Extension are Colma, South San Francisco, San Bruno, San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and Millbrae.

DOUBLED SERVICE ON PENINSULA
The new service plan will double the number of trains serving Colma, South San Francisco and San Bruno stations ? cutting the time between trains from 15 minutes to eight. That's because two lines - the Richmond or Red Line and the Pittsburg Bay Point or Yellow Line - will both serve those three stations.

PITTSBURG BAY POINT/YELLOW LINE TO SERVE SFO STATION
The new service plan will bring back the popular Pittsburg/Bay Point or Yellow Line to serve the SFO Station while the Richmond or Red Line trains will go directly to Millbrae during the day. Then, after approximately 7:00 p.m. during the week and on weekends & holidays, the Dublin/Pleasanton or Blue Line will go directly into Millbrae. This means passengers commuting between Millbrae and downtown San Francisco will see a six-minute (16%) drop in their travel time on BART because they will no longer stop at the SFO Station.

Here are highlights of the new schedule, which takes effect January 1, 2008:

MONDAY ? FRIDAY FROM APPROXIMATELY 4:00 AM - 7:00 PM:

  • Pittsburg/Bay Point or Yellow Line trains will go directly into SFO
  • Richmond or Red Line trains will go directly to Millbrae

AFTER APPROXIMATELY 7:00 PM & WEEKENDS/HOLIDAYS:

  • Pittsburg/Bay Point or Yellow Line trains will go directly into SFO
  • Dublin/Pleasanton or Blue Line will replace the Richmond/Red Line & go directly to Millbrae

OTHER ENHANCEMENTS:

  • Adding a new train to the SFO Station from downtown San Francisco for those catching early morning flights on weekdays ? this train will arrive approximately 20 minutes earlier than the currently scheduled first arrival of 5:31 AM
  • Starting the Richmond or Red Line on weekdays one hour earlier ? around 4 AM - with direct service to downtown San Francisco and Millbrae