BART Metro: 2030 and Beyond

Since its inception, BART has been providing 40-plus years of frequent and fast transit service for hundreds of thousands of riders daily across the Bay Area. BART expects daily ridership to increase significantly over the next decade as the Bay Area continues to grow in population and in jobs, creating enormous opportunities and equally significant challenges.

In 2013, BART, with funding from Caltrans and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), published a study to examine a potential re-conception of BART's service plans to accommodate growing ridership demands. The study, the Sustainable Communities Operations Analysis Study (SCOA) examined areas of improvement needed for BART to maintain its current quality of service and also evaluated various capital improvements and different service plan scenarios to determine which scenario would be best suited to meet the goals of improving operational efficiency, achieving financial stability, and reducing GHG emissions. 

In SCOA, BART identified its "Metro Core" – cities and areas which BART provides current service and where transit can be competitive for all types of trips, such as car driving, throughout the day. The cities in the Metro Core have relatively higher density, higher ridership use, lower household auto ownership rates, and walkable environments, among other factors. SCOA determined the Metro Core area as between Daly City and Richmond, MacArthur and Bay Fair stations, encapsulating both San Francisco and Oakland and adjacently surrounding cities.

BART Metro recommended a number of service changes and capital improvements that have been implemented. The study was the impetus for short-turning trains on the Antioch-Millbrae line during peak periods before they reach the end of the line to increase service frequencies in the system core. 

Several major changes over the next decade will require BART to rethink its operating service plan. By 2030, implementation of the Core Capacity project, which includes a new communications-based train control system (CBTC) and an expanded fleet, will allow 30 trains per hour in the Transbay Tube compared to 23 today. In 2018, BART and MTC decided to revisit the issue to provide updates to the BART Metro concept due to the Core Capacity Program's progress and other recently emergent developments, such as declining off-peak ridership, BART to San Jose extension and changing ridership patterns stemming from the Bay Area's severe housing shortage. 

BART and MTC applied for a Caltrans grant to produce future BART service plans, focusing on 2030 and beyond, and an associated prioritized capital project list (such as new storage facilities and bypass tracks) that would fully leverage planned system investments while improving operational efficiency and allowing BART to deliver higher quality service at lower cost. The grant application has been approved and the Project will underway in Fall 2019. The project will include community engagement opportunities. 

For members of the public interested in the project, check back in early 2020 for project updates. To inquire more on the subject, please email Sadie Graham at [email protected].