Early Bird Express

UPDATED: March 10, 2021

Beginning Monday, April 27, 2020, service on all 13 Early Bird Express (EBX) bus routes will be reduced or discontinued until further notice due to decreased ridership during shelter-in-place orders. In mid-March, the network carried roughly 1,000 riders per day. Today, that number has dropped to between 100 and 150 riders, an 85-90% decline in ridership.

Since the shelter-in-place order was established, BART and its seven partnering bus agencies have been working to monitor ridership trends, evaluate potential service options, and craft a data-driven service plan. EBX service needs to be reduced to match demand, save costs and support our transit partners in maintaining reliable service based on staffing levels. Partner bus agencies have also indicated that EBX service reductions are needed to free up their overall service capacity to sustain their core routes.

The following routes will continue running with the number of daily trips reduced:

  • 701 (Pittsburg/Bay Point Station to Salesforce Transit Center)
  • 702 (Pleasant Hill Station to Salesforce Transit Center)
  • 704 (El Cerrito Del Norte Station to Salesforce Transit Center)
  • 705 (MacArthur Station to Salesforce Transit Center via 19th St./Oakland Station
  • 706 (Bay Fair Station to Salesforce Transit Center via Fruitvale Station)
  • 713 (Salesforce Transit Center to San Francisco International Airport Station)
  • 714 (Salesforce Transit Center to Daly City Station)

The following routes will be discontinued:

  • 703 (Dublin/Pleasanton Station to Salesforce Transit Center)
  • 707 (Fremont Station to Salesforce Transit Center)
  • 708 (El Cerrito Del Norte Station to 19th St./Oakland Station)
  • 709 (Antioch Station to Pittsburg/Bay Point Station)
  • 712 (Pittsburg/Bay Point Station to 19th St./Oakland Station)
  • 715 (North Concord Station to Pleasant Hill Station)

The chart below details the route changes and includes alternatives for each trip that is being discontinued. The service plan provides at least one trip into San Francisco from each region. This will help to ensure that the Early Bird Express stays within budget and is able to restore service as shelter-in-place orders are lifted and customers return.

EBX Changes chart August 2021

Download or view a printable PDF of this chart.

County Connection will implement their portion of the reduction plan on Monday April 20th, 2020 for routes 712 and 715 between Pittsburg Bay Point, Pleasant Hill and Downtown Oakland. Those riders have been notified in person and staff was in the field on Friday, April 17th to conduct further outreach.

BART staff will conduct in-person outreach on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday (April 20-22, 2020) at the Salesforce Transit Center and at 19th St./Oakland Station. Signage will also be posted at all EBX departure stations informing riders about the changes. For more information and background about EBX please visit bart.gov/earlybirdexpress

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.

Parking

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 offers several alternative options to pay for outside the faregates, including purchasing Early Bird/Non-BART Parking through the official BART app.

Please check www.bart.gov/parking for details.

Where to Park

Park in the FEE area of BART stations served by Early Bird Express bus service. Do not park in the PERMIT/RESERVED area. There is ample parking in the fee area during the 4 am hour.


The content below is pre-COVID-19 changes. We will provide updates above as changes are made and service returns to normal.

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.

December 2019 updated map

The Early Bird Express alternative bus service plan consists of 13 bus lines that run between 3:50 am and 5:30 am in both directions between stops. The bus network serves BART stations and the Salesforce Transit Center in San Francisco.
AC Transit and WestCAT buses stop at the level 3 Bus Deck of the Salesforce Transit Center. 
MUNI and Golden Gate Transit buses stop on level 1 (street level) between Beale and Fremont Streets.
SamTrans buses stop on Mission Street at Fremont Street, north of the Salesforce Transit Center.
Beginning Monday, December 16, 2019, five Early Bird Express bus trips will be discontinued due to low ridership. Read more about the upcoming changes here.
Map of bus arrivals at Salesforce Transbay Terminal

Payment

Eight Bay Area bus agencies operate this network. 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.

Early Bird Express service by route (scheduled to take effect in mid-June 2019: click link for exact date)

Route 701- Pittsburg/Bay Point to Salesforce Transit Center
Route 702 - Pleasant Hill to Salesforce Transit Center
Route 703 - Dublin/Pleasanton to Salesforce Transit Center
Route 704 - El Cerrito Del Norte to Salesforce Transit Center
Route 705 - MacArthur to Salesforce Transit Center
Route 706 - Bay Fair to Salesforce Transit Center
Route 707 - Fremont to Salesforce Transit Center
Route 708 - El Cerrito Del Norte to 19th St./Oakland
Route 709 - Antioch to Pittsburg/Bay Point
Route 712 - Pittsburg/Bay Point to 19th St./Oakland
Route 713 - Salesforce Transit Center to San Francisco Int'l Airport
Route 714 - Salesforce Transit Center to Daly City
Route 715 - North Concord to Lafayette

Station-specific guides

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
19th St. Oakland 
24th Street Mission
Antioch 
Balboa Park 
Bay Fair 
Concord 
Daly City 
Dublin/Pleasanton 
El Cerrito Del Norte 
Fremont
Fruitvale 
Glen Park 
MacArthur 
Millbrae 
North Concord/Martinez 
Pittsburg/Bay Point
Pleasant Hill/Contra Costa Centre 
SF Int'l Airport (SFO) 
SF Salesforce Transit CenterWalnut Creek 

Stations without Early Bird Express service:
12th St. Oakland City Center
Ashby
Castro Valley
Civic Center/UN Plaza
Coliseum
Colma
Downtown Berkeley
El Cerrito Plaza
Embarcadero
Hayward
Lafayette
Lake Merritt
Montgomery
North Berkeley
Oakland Int'l Airport (OAK)
Orinda
Powell
Pittsburg Center
Richmond
Rockridge
San Bruno
San Leandro
South Hayward
South San Francisco
Union City
Warm Springs/South Fremont
West Dublin/Pleasanton
West Oakland

Parking

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 offers several alternative options to pay for outside the faregates, including purchasing Early Bird/Non-BART Parking through the official BART app.

Please check www.bart.gov/parking for details.

Where to Park

Park in the FEE area of BART stations served by Early Bird Express bus service. Do not park in the PERMIT/RESERVED area. There is ample parking in the fee area during the 4 am hour.

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.

train starting point

Below is a station by station list of the first trains in all directions:

First trains 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.

Outreach

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.