BART returns to near-regular service starting 8/2/21


BART returns to near-regular service starting 8/2/21

BART is ready to serve the region with the return of near-regular service starting Monday, August 2, 2021.

The schedule change includes increased frequencies and extending closing times to midnight Mondays through Saturdays along with a dramatic increase in direct trips to SFO on weekdays. 

The new schedule is very similar to the one before the pandemic, but with some targeted service expansions but also some areas that will not return to pre-pandemic levels such as the extra commuter trains on the Antioch-SFO (Yellow) line during peak hours. Sunday service will continue to run at 30-minute frequencies and a 9pm closure to accommodate BART’s critical cable replacement project and other infrastructure rebuilding work.

Schedule Change Details

  • Weekday service will be 5am-12am (previously 5am-9pm) with 5-line service and 15-min frequencies on all lines from 5am-8pm and 3-line service with 30-minute frequencies from 8pm-midnight. 
  • Saturday service will be 6am-12am (previously 8am-9pm) with 5-line service from 6am-8pm and then 3-line service from 8pm-midnight. Saturday service has been designed to better meet the needs of the majority of our riders. We are starting 5-line service right when we open, giving morning riders more options. Trains will be more evenly distributed to cut down on wait times and improve transfers. While a few sections such as Castro Valley to Dublin/Pleasanton and Pittsburg Center to Antioch are still at 30-minute frequencies, the rest of our system will have four or more trains per hour. For the first time ever we have added trains on the yellow line on Saturday as far as Pittsburg-Bay Point until about 8pm providing 15 minute frequencies in the peak direction during the peak times. Specifically, from 6am until noon there are 15 minute headways inbound to San Francisco. From noon until 8pm there are 15 minute headways outbound from San Francisco. During the other times and directions, trains run 5 and 25 minutes apart.*On November 17, 2021, we updated this language about the Saturday yellow line service to provide more details about what yellow line riders can expect depending on their travel time and directions.    
  • Sunday service will remain 8am-9pm with 3-line service and 30-minute frequencies. However, the first trains of the morning begin earlier than before offering trips in the 7am hour.  The Yellow and Blue line trains will continue to run close together, instead of spaced apart, throughout San Francisco on Sundays to accommodate single tracking that will take place on select Sundays. During single tracking, the end of the Dublin-Daly City (Blue) line will now be 24th Street Mission. This is an improvement for downtown San Francisco riders during single tracking because the forced transfer is moving from Montgomery to 24th Street Mission. BART will improve Sunday service in February 2022.
  • More trips to SFO. BART is rolling out a dramatic increase in direct service to SFO going from four trips per hour during peak hours to eight trips per hour, all serving downtown San Francisco and Oakland. BART’s system map has also been updated to eliminate the purple line shuttle between SFO and Millbrae. In March 2021, BART improved service to SFO and Millbrae by eliminating the need to transfer to the shuttle train. The Richmond-Millbrae + SFO (Red) line offers direct service to SFO via Millbrae during 5-line service, and the Yellow line offers direct service to Millbrae via SFO during 3-line service.
  • Long trains will continue to run during all hours for the time being, but at some yet-to-be determined point, BART will begin to make trains shorter during hours of lower ridership to right size the maintenance requirements driven by car operating hours.

The schedule change will result in BART trains being in service a combined 875 hours each weekday compared with only 498 in-service hours in mid-July. That’s an increase of 76%. On Saturdays the change results in 514 combined in-service train hours compared with only 258 the previous month, a 99% increase.

The BART Trip Planner has been updated with the new schedule and riders can start planning their trips using a date of August 2 and beyond. PDF timetables specific to each line have also been posted online.

BART and Caltrain continues to maintain good connections in its transfer wait times at Millbrae Station. On August 30, Caltrain will undergo its own schedule change which will improve more transfer wait times. 

BART was able to advance the major schedule change 4 weeks early by working collaboratively with our labor partners to accelerate the hiring, training, and shift sign-up process.

The service increase is part of BART’s Welcome Back Plan outlining our efforts to better serve the Bay Area and help people get to work, school, appointments, and fun destinations across the region.

BART’s updated system map is pictured below. Changes to the map include:

  • Eliminating the Purple line connecting SFO and Millbrae as a shuttle and replacing it with a newly configured Red and Yellow line service pattern. This service improvement also eliminates the need to show San Bruno and SFO as a transfer station.
  • Making the main map cover Monday-Saturday until evenings, eliminating the need to include confusing text boxes about service before/after 9pm and the dashed red line. We also made the inset map a bit larger.
  • Making the inset map cover Sundays and evenings.
  • Adding “OAKLAND” to join “PENINSULA,” “SAN FRANCISCO,” “SAN JOSE,” and “EAST BAY.” We added Oakland to the map because we can and because our heart belongs in Oakland.