Early Bird Express
On February 11, 2019, BART shifted its start of service from 4am to 5am on weekdays to allow extra time for a critical seismic retrofit of the Transbay Tube. The project is expected to be complete in Fall 2023.
About 2,900 riders entered our system in that first hour of service.
A robust alternative bus service plan called the Early Bird Express has been developed for the 4 am hour.
In May 2019, BART and our Partner Agencies collected survey input from riders on how to improve the Early Bird Express bus service. The proposed improvements, which mainly shift bus departures to earlier times, are scheduled to begin in June.
The Early Bird Express alternative bus service plan establishes 15 new bus lines to run between 3:50 am and 5:30 am in both directions between stops. There are 7 transbay routes, 5 East Bay routes, 2 San Francisco/Peninsula routes and a Contra Costa County route. The bus network serves 21 BART stations and the Temporary Transbay Terminal in San Francisco.
Download the Early Bird Express fact sheet:
Eight Bay Area bus agencies operate this network and all fares are the same as or less than the equivalent trip on BART. Riders who use the Early Bird Express can pay with either cash or a Clipper card. When using Clipper to pay for the Early Bird Express fare, the payment must be made with money added as cash value to the card. Riders cannot pay for Early Bird Express service using a Clipper purse loaded with High Value Discount (HVD) tickets. For trips taken on Golden Gate Transit, there is a tag on/tag off system for Clipper. All other operators are tag on only. Passengers riding Golden Gate Transit operated buses must remember to tag off when exiting, otherwise they will be charged the maximum fare in the system. LEO passes are not valid on Early Bird Express buses.
For specific schedule, payment and other information on Early Bird Express Service for each BART station as well as first train arrival times, click on the desired station below.
Stations with Early Bird Express bus service and bus stop location maps:
16th Street Mission | map of bus stop
19th St. Oakland | map of bus stop
24th Street Mission | map of bus stop
Antioch | map of bus stop
Balboa Park | map of bus stop
Bay Fair | map of bus stop
Concord | map of bus stop
Daly City | map of bus stop
Dublin/Pleasanton | map of bus stop
El Cerrito Del Norte | map of bus stop
Fremont | map of bus stop
Fruitvale | map of bus stop
Glen Park | map of bus stop
Lafayette | map of bus stop
MacArthur | map of bus stop
Millbrae | map of bus stop
North Concord/Martinez | map of bus stop
Pittsburg/Bay Point | map of bus stop
Pleasant Hill/Contra Costa Centre | map of bus stop
SF Int'l Airport (SFO) | map of bus stop
SF Temporary Transbay Terminal | map of bus stop
Walnut Creek | map of bus stop
Stations without Early Bird Express service:
12th St. Oakland City Center
Civic Center/UN Plaza
El Cerrito Plaza
Oakland Int'l Airport (OAK)
South San Francisco
Warm Springs/South Fremont
Because BART stations don't open until 5 am, parking during the 4 am hour can not be paid for inside of the stations. To allow Early Bird Express riders to continue to pay for parking between 3:30 am and 5:30 am, BART is offering three different ways to pay for parking. One requires a smart phone and downloading an app, another requires a computer, internet and printer, and another gives the option to purchase parking passes in advance and in person from a customer service window.
Official BART app: Once you have parked, use the official BART app to pay for your spot with a credit card, PayPal or Venmo. The app can be downloaded at any time. The pay for parking pilot feature became available on February 5, 2019. The parking payment feature only works between 3:30 am and 5:30 am.
Users can click on the Parking icon at the bottom of the screen and follow prompts to create a profile (if you haven’t already) and add payment preferences. We recommend creating your profile and payment options in advance, so you won’t need to when you arrive at the station.
How it works:
- Once you have parked in the fee area (not the permit area) at the BART station and before leaving your car, open the BART app, select the parking icon.
- If you haven’t yet set up a profile and payment options you will need to follow the prompts to do so.
- On the next screen, select the “Pay for Early Bird Express Parking” option.
- This will open the “Pay for Parking” page.
- Select the station you are parking at- only BART stations with Early Bird Express service are available.
- Enter your parking stall number. Be sure to do this before you board the bus. You need a valid stall number to pay. If it isn’t valid, you will be given a prompt to re-enter a valid number.
- Select your payment method, then press submit.
- You will be taken to a “Payment Summary” page.
- Once payment is authorized and “Pay Now” option selected, you will see a “Payment Successful” page with options to select “email your receipt”, “view transaction history” or “ok”.
- Your parking payment is now registered for the day.
Select-a-Spot Single-Day Pass: A single-day pass can be purchased online through www.select-a-spot.com/bart. This option requires you to purchase the single-day pass online and print out and display the pass on the front dashboard of your car, clearly displaying the pass number. You can purchase up to two weeks of passes in advance in one log in session. Park in the fee area, not the permit area.
Hang Tag Single-Day Pass: Purchase one or more pre-printed, single-day, hang tag parking passes in person at the Lake Merritt and Embarcadero Clipper Card Office customer service centers (hours below). Each hangtag is good for one day. You must scratch off the month, date, and year of the date you are parking. Scratching off more than one date will invalidate the pass. The hang tag must be displayed visibly on your rearview mirror or dashboard with the date facing outward. Park in the fee area, not the permit area.
BART Customer Service Center at Lake Merritt Station in Oakland (sales windows are located on the concourse level in both the free and paid areas): Monday-Friday, 7:30 am-5 pm.
Clipper Customer Service Center at Embarcadero Station in San Francisco (located on the concourse level): Monday-Friday, 7 am-7 pm; Saturday, 9 am-2 pm.
Cost to Park
The cost to park is the same as before. Clipper cannot be used to pay for parking in the 4 am hour, which means the EZ Rider payment system cannot be used. Information on getting a refund from your EZ rider account can be found here (second to last question in the FAQ).
All parking rules apply. Please check www.bart.gov/parking for details.
Where to Park
All three of these options allow you to park in the FEE area of BART stations served by Early Bird Express bus service. Do not park in the PERMIT area. None of these options are considered a permit. There is ample parking in the fee area during the 4 am hour.
Download parking information.
5am Train Plan
On weekdays, end of the line trains begin at around 5 am, Trains also for the first time on weekdays begin around 5 am from midline stations (Concord, South Hayward and Daly City) to ramp up the start of service more quickly. All early morning trains will be long with the first East Bay train arriving at Embarcadero Station at 5:35 am.
Below is a station by station list of the first trains in all directions:
To download the list of first train departure times, click here.
To download the entire BART schedule, effective February 11, 2019, click here.
Over 2,400 of our 2,900 BART's 4 am riders began their trips in the East Bay and 64% disembarked at downtown San Francisco stations.
BART conducted extensive outreach in the spring of 2018 which included surveys, in-station outreach, multilingual media ads, community presentations, and meetings with airport employees, hospitality and service workers, business owners and unions. The rider input helped guide the development of the Early Bird Express.
A new round of in-station outreach covering 28 stations was conducted between December 11, 2018 and February 7, 2019 to provide first hour riders with one-on-one help in planning for the service change, including providing specific details about the Early Bird Express.
Feedback and Trip Planning Help by Phone or Email
Phone operators at BART's Transit Information Center are available Monday-Friday, 8 am-6 pm at 510-465-BART (2278). Operators can help riders plan their trips and gather feedback. Riders can also send an email message online here.
Stay informed about Service and Parking Payment Changes
If you would like to be notified with details about service changes and parking payment changes, you must opt in to these notifications by clicking here and entering your email address.
Learn about other Service Changes to begin February 11, 2019
In addition to the 5am opening, major BART schedule changes began February 11, 2019 that impact Sunday and weekday night riders. Read about all of the changes here.