BART 5am opening Early Bird Express bus service plan to go before Board
Beginning on February 11, 2019, BART's start of service will shift from 4 am to 5 am systemwide for a massive project that will retrofit the Transbay Tube.
About 2,900 riders enter our system in that first hour of service.
BART conducted extensive outreach during the month of April which included surveys, in-station outreach, multilingual media ads, community presentations, and meetings with airport employees, hospitality and service workers, business owners and unions.
A summary of the mitigation options and survey results were presented at the July 12, 2018 board meeting. The information has been used to decide what level of alternative bus service to provide during the 4am hour.
At its September 27, 2018 meeting, the alternative Early Bird Express bus service plan for the 5am opening will be presented to the BART Board of Directors. Preview the board presentation for information regarding expected times of travel, costs and parking payment details.
The plan will establish 15 new bus lines to run between 3:50 am and 5 am. The new lines will be comprised of 7 transbay routes, 5 East Bay routes and San Francisco/Peninsula routes. The Early Bird Express bus network will provide service to a total of 13 nodes, including the Salesforce Transit Center in San Francisco and 12 BART Stations. Bus trips leaving from East Bay BART stations will arrive at the Salesforce Transit Center at 5 am, 5:15 am and 5:30 am. (The first trains currently arrive from the East Bay between 4:48 am and 5 am). We are partnering with 8 Bay Area bus agencies to operate this network.
Bus trips will leave every 15 minutes from the Pittsburg/Bay Point, Pleasant Hill, 19th St., Dublin/Pleasanton, Bay Fair and El Cerrito del Norte Stations.
All of these trips will arrive at the Salesforce Transit Center in San Francisco.
Buses will also go from the Antioch Station to Pittsburg/Bay Point every 15 minutes beginning at 3:50 am. Buses from the Fremont Station to the Saleforce Transit Center will leave every 30 minutes beginning at 4:10 am.
The last bus will arrive at the Salesforce Transit Center at 5:30 am. All buses arriving here will connect with service to Daly City and SFO.
The bus fare between any node in the network is less than or equal to the BART fare.
Once the schedule change takes effect, end of the line trains will begin around 5 am, Trains will also, for the first time, begin around 5 am from midline stations (Concord, South Hayward and Daly City). All of the trains will start service long with the first train arriving at Embarcadero Station at 5:30 am. This change will help trains arrive in the core of the system earlier.
In addition to the later weekday morning start time, BART will be single-tracking trains through the tube each weeknight from 9:30 pm until close of service at midnight. This will allow crews to shuttle in equipment via the closed track. During this time, trains will run every 24 minutes instead of the every 20 minutes they run now.
Because BART stations will be closed until 5 am, current parking payment methods will not be available for Early Bird Express riders. We have developed two strategies to allow these riders to continue to pay for parking. The first is the Pay by Smart Phone App. BART plans to launch the new single sign-on app this fall with the parking payment feature expected to be available for early morning parkers only between 3:45 am and 5:15 am beginning February 2019.
For those who would prefer to pay by cash, day passes will be available for advance purchase by mail or at the customer service centers located at Lake Merritt and at the Embarcadero Clipper Card Office.
The Transbay Tube retrofit is critical for the safety of the BART system. We will continue to update this site as work progresses.