BART launches $700,000 airport ridership campaign & "wraps" cars in a bold, new look


BART launches $700,000 airport ridership campaign & "wraps" cars in a bold, new look

Unique partnership with Travelocity & SFO means $700,000 worth of ads won't cost riders or taxpayers a dime

You may have seen a number of BART train cars streaking across the Bay Area sporting a bold, bright new look. Instead of silver-brushed aluminum and blue trim, drivers and riders alike are seeing the outside of several train cars covered or "wrapped" in messages that say, "Take BART to SFO" or "Take BART to OAK."  These wrapped cars, which are essentially "moving messages," are part of a $700,000 airport and on-line advertising campaign designed to remind people that taking BART to San Francisco and Oakland International Airports will save them time and money.

BART will also wrap train cars with the logo of one of the world's largest on-line travel sites - Travelocity ( That's because the train wraps are part of a unique marketing partnership, which has become a transit industry first. BART has forged joint marketing agreements with San Francisco International Airport and Travelocity. Together, they are providing BART with $700,000 worth of ad space to promote BART in exchange for BART wrapping trains with their logos. Travelocity is dedicating ad space on its website to BART for the next six months. Those who book trips to and from San Francisco and Oakland Airports on Travelocity's website will see BART ads. Beginning in June, SFO will show BART ads inside its terminals for six weeks and then BART and SFO will jointly display ads promoting SFO and BART again during the 2006 holiday travel season.

"Because of these carefully crafted co-marketing agreements, BART is getting $700,000 worth of advertising space and it won't cost riders or taxpayers a dime." BART Board President Carole Ward Allen said. "That said, we're anxious to evaluate how our passengers react to this, before deciding if we should do more."

The train wraps are designed to increase ridership to both Oakland and San Francisco International Airports. Despite erroneous reports to the contrary, the number of people who take BART to SFO has steadily increased during each and every year since the station opened in June of 2003. In fact, comparing 2004 and 2005 - the first two full fiscal years that the station has been open - ridership rose from 1,448,423 passengers annually to 1,668,632 annual passengers. That's a 15.2% increase. BART ridership to Oakland International Airport has seen a big increase as well. In 2003 1,031,674 riders used BART to get to Oakland Airport compared with 1,229,102 in 2005. That's a 19.1% increase.

BART officials attribute the increase in ridership to BART's low cost, high frequency service as well as its 95% average passenger on-time record. Officials believe more and more people have discovered taking BART not only helps them avoid the Bay Area's gridlocked traffic it also helps them save on the high costs of airport parking and gas. In fact, the average BART ride from Downtown San Francisco costs just $5.15. The average taxi ride costs between $25 and $37.

Additionally, riders can avoid the high cost of airport parking by reserving a long-term parking space at $5/day at any East Bay BART parking lots, except at the West Oakland and Coliseum/Oakland Airport Stations. To take advantage of the long-term parking offer, riders should purchase a permit over the phone (877) 700-PARK or securely online at

The SFO Station is one of five stations in San Mateo County. The Colma Station opened in 1996. The other four stations, South San Francisco, San Bruno, SFO and Millbrae opened in June 2003. SamTrans and BART jointly operate the extension. SamTrans is responsible for paying the extension's operating costs.

For more information about taking BART to the airport, visit the Airport Connections section.