AC Transit, BART enhance service for late night commuters
** Get details on the late night bus service including schedules, bus stop details, and maps at www.actransit.org/allnighter
AC Transit and BART have collaborated to launch a one-year pilot program that increases the options for late night commuters, providing new destinations and improved frequency of predawn buses between San Francisco and the East Bay on weekends.
The beefed up after-hours operation, which launches this weekend, will include a new route, Line 822, that will extend bus service to BART stations from Mission and 24th streets in San Francisco to Pittsburg/Bay Point in the East Bay. In addition, the frequency of late-night service from San Francisco to Richmond BART (Line 800) and Oakland to Bay Fair BART (Line 801) will improve from 30 minutes to 20 minutes, whereas the frequency of late-night service from Oakland to Fremont will improve from 60 minutes to 40 minutes.
“Night-life in both San Francisco and Oakland are important aspects of those economies,” said AC Transit Board President Greg Harper. “We are happy that we are able to engage in a joint venture with BART to provide safe and affordable transit for those patrons. This is likely to be the first of many such efforts.”
BART secured $796,000 in funds to conduct the pilot project targeted to those who rely on transit to get to and from work in the late night and early morning hours. A portion of the funds ($496,000) is from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s (MTC) “Lifeline” program, administered in collaboration with Alameda County Transportation Commission (ACTC) and Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA), which provides funding for transit services and programs for low income and disadvantaged residents. BART contributed $200,000 from its operating budget and $100,000 is expected from fares from the service.
BART Board Director Rebecca Saltzman is a dedicated public transit user who has taken the existing late night bus service many times. “Just like many others, I would like to see more options during the late night and early morning hours,” Saltzman said. “This pilot will help show us the demand for this level of service and can be used to help find ongoing funding if warranted.”
BART is unable to run passenger service trains all night because we use this time to conduct vital maintenance to keep our tracks safe and reliable. BART lacks the extra tracks to run trains while this essential overnight work is taking place.
The new Line 822 provides bus service on Friday and Saturday nights from approximately 1:00 a.m. to 2.30 a.m. — the times when transbay riders need it the most. The existing lines 800 and 801 will have improved frequencies from approximately 12:30 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. They will augment AC Transit’s existing All-Nighter services that offer daily transbay passage and intra-East Bay service to thousands of patrons from 12:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m.
There are many people who rely on public transit in the middle of night, such as Dani Silberstein who works at a San Francisco restaurant and lives in the East Bay. “Often times I don’t get off work until after BART service has ended,” Silberstein said. “I usually take the 800 bus to get home from the city, but there are nights I have to wait over an hour for the bus to arrive. After a long shift at work, I just want to get home.”
AC Transit’s regular fares will apply to the new Line 822 and the augmented Lines 800 and 801 late-night service: $4.20 for transbay trips and $2.10 for local trips. Senior, youth and the disabled discounts will apply, Day Passes will be honored and fares can be paid with Clipper® or cash.
In San Francisco, Lines 822 and 800 will stop at 24th Street/Mission, 16th Street/Mission, Market/Van Ness Ave, Civic Center/UN Plaza, Powell Street, Montgomery Street and Embarcadero as well as the Temporary Transbay Terminal at Beale and Howard streets. In the East Bay, Line 822 stops at 14th Street/Broadway and Rockridge BART in Oakland; then on to BART stations at Walnut Creek, Pleasant Hill, and Pittsburg/Bay Point.
The new Line 822 will run every 30 minutes and, during the pilot period, both the 822 and the 800 late-night transbay bus routes will start in San Francisco at 24th Street/Mission instead of Market Street and Van Ness Avenue on late Friday and Saturday nights.
A complete schedule of Line 800, Line 801 and Line 822—detailing route times and stops—is available online at www.actransit.org/allnighter.