Summary of service changes to-date since the COVID-19 pandemic

06.04.21

Summary of service changes to-date since the COVID-19 pandemic

This article is a summary of COVID-19 service changes to-date since the pandemic.

BART's online Trip Planner has our current schedule. View PDF's of BART's current schedule here: https://www.bart.gov/schedules/pdf

Service Hours

  • Monday-Friday service is 5am-9pm (previously 5am-Midnight). This change began on Monday, March 23, 2020.
  • Saturday-Sunday service is 8am-9pm (previously Saturday service started at 6am). This change began on Saturday, March 28, 2020.

We provide special event late night service for SF Giants and Oakland A's night home games and San Francisco 4th of July fireworks. And from July 15-31 we offer limited late-night service from San Francisco, serving nine stations total. 

Note that while we communicate that BART closes at 9pm, the closure time varies station by station depending on where you are going. Some trains run well beyond 9pm. Check your specific trip.

Need help planning alternative trips during hours BART is closed? Call the BART Transit Information Center.

8:00 am to 6:00 pm, Monday - Friday excluding most holidays

Phone Number:510-465-2278

Frequency

Monday-Friday service includes some reduced frequency. 

Commute trains at 15-minute frequencies are running on most lines during our busiest times. Other times have 30 minute frequencies on each line. If you are traveling within San Francisco or a line that has more than one line of service, trains are more frequent than every 30 minutes. 

BART will return to near pre-pandemic service starting August 2, 2021

Starting August 2, 2021, BART will expand service hours and significantly increase service:

  • Weekday service will be 5am-12am (currently 5am-9pm) with 15-min frequencies on all lines from 5am-8pm and 30-minute frequencies from 8pm-midnight.
  • Saturday service will be 6am-12am (currently 8am-9pm) with 5-line service offering more options for Saturday riders, and for the first time, offering four trains per hour one most lines.
  • Sunday service will remain 8am-9pm with 3-line service and 30-minute frequencies to accommodate BART’s critical cable replacement project and other infrastructure rebuilding work.

BART can't return to midnight service before August 2, 2021 because to extend hours, BART must finish training the extra staff required to run more service.

Summary of service changes to date

  • Starting June 25, 2021, BART started special event service with limited stops for Giant's night games
  • Starting June 7, 2021, 26 trips were added to the weekday schedule and 16 trips were added to the Saturday schedule.
  • Starting April 1, 2021 BART started special event service for A's night games
  • Starting March 27, 2021, Saturday and Sunday will have identical schedules. Saturday service will run as three route service (Yellow, Orange, and Blue), which means some riders may have to transfer to finish their trip like they do on Sundays.
  • Starting Sept. 19, 2020, Saturday and Sunday service runs every 30 minutes (previously it was 20 minutes on Saturday and 24 minutes on Sunday) with the first trains of the morning, for the most part, departing significantly earlier than 8am.
  • Starting Sept. 14, 2020, Monday-Friday, 12 trains were added to increase service during our busiest weekday hours.
  • Starting June 22, 2020, Monday-Friday, the 3 added trains on the Yellow line (Antioch-SFO) that began on June 8th now originate and end at Pittsburg/Bay Point, serving more riders.
  • Starting June 8, 2020, Monday-Friday BART added 3 more trains to the schedule during the morning and evening commute between Pleasant Hill and Daly City, creating 15 minute frequencies.   
  • Starting Wednesday, April 8, 2020, Monday-Friday service will run every 30 minutes systemwide all day, with 3-line service beginning earlier in the evening and single tracking in San Francisco starting at around 8pm.
  • Starting Saturday, March 28, 2020, Saturday-Sunday service is 8am-9pm (previously Saturday service started at 6am).
  • Starting Monday, March 23, 2020, Monday-Friday service is 5am-9pm (previously 5am-Midnight).
  • Starting Thursday, March 19, 2020, extra commute trains on the Antioch-SFO (yellow) line were eliminated.

Starting June 2021 BART will double the number of 15-minute frequencies on weekdays and offer more trips on Saturdays. BART will add 26 additional trips to the Monday-Friday schedule. The additional trips will serve our busiest lines: Yellow (Antioch-SFO), Green (Berryessa-Daly City), and Red (Richmond-Millbrae + SFO). Most of the added trips will be during the shoulders of the morning and evening commute periods. Saturdays will get more frequent service with the addition of 16 trips added throughout the day. Read the full details: https://www.bart.gov/news/articles/2021/news20210527


Starting March 22, 2021 BART will make some minor adjustments to its schedule. While service hours will remain unchanged for now, BART staff will closely monitor ridership and demand as the region begins to reopen. Weekday riders will have the same frequency they experienced before but the new schedule allows BART to add 26 additional trips to enhance 15-minute commute periods when and where ridership data reflects more riders are returning. Starting Saturday, March 27, Saturday and Sunday will have identical schedules.  Saturday service will run as three route service (Yellow, Orange, and Blue), which means some riders may have to transfer to finish their trip like they do on Sundays. Read the full details: https://www.bart.gov/news/articles/2021/news20210316


Starting Sept. 14, 2020 BART’s schedule will be updated to add more frequency during peak commute times on several lines, marking the largest weekday service increase since the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Commute trains at 15-minute frequencies will be added to most lines as well as other adjustments to the schedule including 30-minute frequencies on Saturday and Sunday to reflect current ridership levels. Read the full details: https://www.bart.gov/news/articles/2020/news20200908


Starting June 22, 2020:

BART extends Yellow Line extra commute trains to Pittsburg/Bay Point as ridership continues to tick upward. Read the full details: https://www.bart.gov/news/articles/2020/news20200622


Starting June 8, 2020:

BART adds three more trains to Yellow line as ridership ticks up. Read the full details: https://www.bart.gov/news/articles/2020/news20200605


Starting Wednesday, April 8, 2020:

Monday-Friday service will run every 30 minutes on each line systemwide all day, with 3-line service beginning earlier in the evening and single tracking in San Francisco starting at around 8pm.  Effectively, every other train is being cancelled Monday-Friday.  

Weekend service remains unchanged at this time.

The online Trip Planner has been updated and PDF's of the new schedule that begins 4/8/20 are posted here https://www.bart.gov/schedules/pdf

Previously announced service changes:

  • Monday-Friday service is 5am-9pm (previously 5am-Midnight) began on Monday, March 23.
  • Saturday-Sunday service is 8am-9pm (previously Saturday service started at 6am) began on Saturday, March 28.

Read the full announcement and details:

BART to run every 30 minutes Monday-Friday

As the Bay Area counties have now extended mandatory shelter in place orders, BART service needs to be reduced to match demand, increase essential rebuilding projects, save costs, and maintain reliable service based on staffing levels. Starting Wednesday, April 8, Monday-Friday service will run every 30 minutes on each line until further notice.  Ridership data shows social distancing remains possible on all trains with this change.  Effectively, every other train is being cancelled Monday-Friday.  

Reducing service also allows greater flexibility to maintain stable service should BART employees need to take time off due to illness or to care for children and family members.   

This move will potentially save the operating budget $3-7 million per month. The savings is realized by shifting employees to capital improvement projects that are not funded by the operating budget. BART is using this time of historically low ridership to focus on essential infrastructure projects that typically are very disruptive to riders or can only be accomplished during overnight hours. These rebuilding efforts have been designated as essential public works projects per the region’s public health orders issued in response to the coronavirus.

3 line service will start earlier in the evening

Starting Wednesday, BART will move up the time the Warm Springs-Daly City (Green) and Richmond-Millbrae (Red) lines that provide direct service to/from San Francisco end and 3-line service begins.  This will allow for a longer work window for power cable replacement in San Francisco.  The last two train dispatches in both directions on these lines will be cancelled and single tracking in San Francisco will begin around 8pm.

  • The last Warm Springs-Daly City (Green) line train departs Warm Springs at 5:16pm and arrives at Daly City at 6:26pm.  It then departs Daly City at 6:43pm and arrives at Warm Springs at 7:54pm.
  • The last Richmond-Millbrae (Red) line train departs Richmond at 5:41pm and arrives at Millbrae 6:51pm. It then departs at Millbrae at 7:18pm and arrives at Richmond at 8:24pm.

There is only one hole in the new 30-minute schedule.  It is on the Red line departing from Millbrae at 6:18pm. To avoid this gap, customers should board the SFO shuttle from Millbrae at 6pm and connect with the Antioch line train at SFO at 6:26pm and then transfer at MacArthur at 7:10pm to the Richmond train.

Plan your trip to avoid waiting

PDFs of the new schedule are available. Riders can use the PDF schedule to start planning their trips and what time they should arrive at the station to avoid a long wait.  Riders can also check real time departures before heading to the station.  The online Trip Planner reflects the new service plan and shows every other train as cancelled.

For personalized trip planning assistance, call the Transit Information Center at 510-465-2278 from 8am-6pm, Monday-Friday.

“Ridership is now at 7% of what is usual, and these changes allow us to increase essential rebuilding projects while also ensuring we can provide reliable and predictable service,” said BART General Manager Bob Powers. “With so many unknowns about the length of the shelter in place orders and the timing of recovery, we must take steps to protect the operating budget while also protecting our ability to run service every 30 minutes.”

A change in the BART schedule can only be implemented by doubling headways (train frequency) because the service plan is tied to operational patterns such as timed transfers and train operator reporting times and locations.  This is the reason why we can’t go to 20 or 24 minute headways Monday-Friday.

Weekend service unchanged

Weekend service will remain unchanged.  The decision to not change weekend service at this time is to avoid doubling weekend headways. Reducing service on the weekend would mean Saturday service would need to go to 40-minute headways and Sunday service would go to 48-minute headways. At this time, that level of service reduction is not something BART is ready to implement but may need to do so in the future if circumstances change.

Operating savings achieved by shifting workers to rebuilding projects

Running fewer trains means crews can be redeployed to other projects.  Maintenance and Engineering staff can now increase the hours of cable replacement in San Francisco and begin work on cable replacement in the East Bay and crews can perform relighting work in the Caldecott BART Tunnel. Train car mechanics can now be put into Fleet of the Future training.

This plan calls for up to 400 employees to be shifted to capital projects. However, this number can change if employees are pulled off a project to prioritize passenger service if staffing levels reduce. 

Early FY21 budget estimates show a bleak scenario of possible budget shortfalls of $258 million to $452 million.  The federal stimulus funds will help bridge some of the gap, but it is not expected to fill all of it moving forward. 

Summary of temporary service cuts to date

  • Extra commute trains on the Antioch-SFO (yellow) line were eliminated on Thursday March 19.
  • Monday-Friday service is 5am-9pm (previously 5am-Midnight) began on Monday, March 23.
  • Saturday-Sunday service is 8am-9pm (previously Saturday service started at 6am) began on Saturday, March 28.
  • Starting Wednesday, April 8, Monday-Friday service will run every 30 minutes systemwide all day, with 3-line service beginning earlier in the evening and single tracking in San Francisco starting at around 8pm.

The article was originally published March 19, 2020 and is being updated