30 million trips and counting: BART celebrates 10th anniversary of SFO extension
BART is marking 10 years of service on the SFO extension, which has served more than 30 million passengers since opening June 22, 2003. The five-station extension provides a direct train-to-plane connection that has become the number one choice of air travelers taking public transportation to San Francisco International Airport.
“The SFO extension is a crowning achievement for the Bay Area,” said BART Board Director James Fang. “The public has embraced this so much that the extension fares not only cover all of its operating expenses, it also makes money we can use to invest in other customer improvements and future BART extensions. We think this can serve as a model for other rail agencies.”
BART will begin the 10th anniversary celebration this week with commemorative posters on trains, features on BART.gov including photos, little-known facts and historic video looking back at the challenges and tremendous effort it took to make the dream a reality.
Later this year BART will continue the celebration with a public event at the airport. Details of the celebration will be announced in the coming months.
Ridership on the extension continues to gain steam. Ridership has increased by 27% over the past four years and, in the past two years, it’s grown at a rate of 10%.
The BART to SFO Extension is 8.7 miles long and consists of five stations: Colma, South San Francisco, San Bruno, San Francisco International Airport and Millbrae.
BART Train at the New SFO station, circa 2003.
Support Pillars for SFO BART Station, June 1999.
SFO BART Station-Trackway, May 2001.
BART Station Walls go up, July 2000.
Representative Ellen Tauscher, Judge Quentin L. Kopp, Secretary of Transportation Norman Minetta, U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer, and BART Board Member James Fang enter the new station on opening day.
United States Senator Dianne Feinstein addresses the opening day crowd.
1. There used to be a purple BART line, a shuttle that ran between Millbrae and SFO. It was discontinued in January 2008 when BART altered its service plan to increase efficiency, not because riders using on the line were tired of being called “purple people.”
2. Some artwork at the Millbrae Station uses a material called “terrazzo.” Although it sounds like something on the menu at an Italian restaurant, terrazzo is actually a composite material, usually consisting of marble quartz, granite or glass combined with another material that binds it.
3. Spring 2003 was a bountiful season for SFO – both BART and the people mover AirTrain blossomed within a matter of weeks.
4. The safety cones on the SFO middle platform are so popular they have their own Flickr group. The cones are a visual cue to hurried travelers to watch out for the middle set of tracks which aren’t currently in use.
5. The endangered species of garter snakes that live in the area of the tracks now have their own ranch. Called Mindego Ranch, the 1,047-acre property is managed by the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District.
6. BART created a commemorative ticket to celebrate the opening. With the advent of Clipper cards, you’re not likely to see any new commemorative BART tickets.
7. Four stations opened June 22, 2003 – the first time more than two stations opened on the same day since 1972 when BART began service with 34 brand spanking new stations in the East Bay.
8. The art installation at the SFO station consists of 200,000 mirrored disks designed to create an “ever-changing mosaic, sculpted by the wind.” Enjoy the experience but don’t try to comb your hair in the mirrors.
9. Millbrae Station, which connects BART to Caltrain, is the largest intermodal terminal west of the Mississippi. Take that, L.A.!