Early Bird Express
Beginning February 11, 2019, BART will shift its start of service from 4am to 5am on weekdays to allow extra time for a critical seismic retrofit of the Transbay Tube. This change will last for the duration of the 3.5 year-long project.
About 2,900 riders enter 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.
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 will be 7 transbay routes, 5 East Bay routes, 2 San Francisco/Peninsula routes and a Contra Costa County route. The bus network will serve 21 BART stations and the Salesforce Transit Center in San Francisco.
Download the Early Bird Express fact sheet:
Eight Bay Area bus agencies will operate this network and all fares will be 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 will have to remember to tag off when exiting, otherwise they will be charged the maximum fare in our system.
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:
Antioch* San Bruno
Pittsburg Center SF Int’l Airport (SFO)*
Pittsburg/Bay Point* Millbrae*
North Concord/Martinez* Richmond
Concord* El Cerrito Del Norte*
Pleasant Hill/Contra Costa Centre* El Cerrito Plaza
Walnut Creek* North Berkeley
Lafayette* Downtown Berkeley
Rockridge Lake Merritt
19th Street* Coliseum
12th Street Oakland Int’l Airport (OAK)
West Oakland San Leandro
Embarcadero Bay Fair*
Powell South Hayward
Civic Center/UN Plaza Union City
16th Street Mission* Fremont*
24th Street Mission* Warm Springs/South Fremont
Glen Park* Castro Valley
Balboa Park* West Dublin/Pleasanton
Daly City* Dublin/Pleasanton*
Colma SF Temporary Transbay Terminal*
South San Francisco
*stations/locations with bus service
Because BART stations won’t open until 5 am, current parking payment methods will not be available for Early Bird Express riders. To allow riders to continue to pay for parking between 3:45 am and 5:15 am, BART will offer three different ways to pay for parking.
- 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 will be available by February 4, 2019.
- Hang Tag Single-Day Pass: Purchase one or more pre-printed single-day passes in person at the Lake Merritt and Embarcadero Clipper Card Office customer service centers. This option will be available by February 4, 2019.
- Select-a-Spot Single-Day Pass: A single-day pass can be purchased through www.select-a-spot.com/bart. This option will be available by February 4, 2019 and requires the rider to print out and display the pass on the front dashboard of their vehicle, clearly displaying the pass number.
The cost to park will remain the same. 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). There is enough parking to ensure every Early Bird Express rider a spot at a station with bus service. All of the above Early Bird Express parking options are for parking in the daily fee spaces only, and are not valid for Permit spaces.
5am Train Plan
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) to ramp up the start of service more quickly. All of the trains will start service long with the first train arriving at Embarcadero Station at 5:30 am.
Over 2,400 of our 2,900 first hour riders begin their trips in the East Bay and 64% disembark 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 began on December 11, 2018 and is scheduled to last nearly two months to provide riders with one-on-one help in planning for the service change, including providing specific details about the Early Bird Express. See outreach schedule below:
Date: Station: Time:
Trip Planning Help by Phone
BART's Transit Information Center is available by phone to help you plan your trip. They can walk you through your options. Operators are available Monday-Friday, 8 am-6 pm at 510-465-2278.
Stay informed about Service and Parking Payment Changes
If you would like to be notified as details are finalized about these upcoming 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 beginning February 11th will impact Sunday and weekday night riders. Read about all of the changes here.