BART considers bus options during Transbay Tube work


BART officials are seeking the public’s input on the type of bus service they would like to see when the transit system has to begin an hour later each morning beginning as early as September.

The transit agency is holding a number of outreach events, with the first on April 10 at the 12th Street Oakland City Center Station from 4 a.m. to 6 a.m. to reach out to passengers who take the transit system during the early morning commute.

Instead of trains running at 4 a.m., BART plans to coordinate with AC Transit on bus alternative routes for passengers between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m.

BART will need to start the early morning service an hour later in order to allow crews to work on a $276 million project to retrofit the Transbay Tube to address concerns of flooding due to a large earthquake.

The project will entail crews installing an “inner steel lining” inside the 3.6-mile long Transbay Tube, which is made of steel and concrete sections, according to BART.

Additionally, crews will install a new water pumping system in case of water leakage caused by an earthquake.

The transit agency said the extra hour will extend the work window by 20 percent and save $15 million in costs. Officials said approximately 2,800 passengers enter the system during the first hour of service.

More than 85 percent of the passengers begin their trips in the East Bay and alight at a downtown San Francisco stations.

BART officials plan to present the public with two different alternative bus service plans at different stations.

One option would add new East Bay routes to San Francisco and “enhance” existing AC Transit routes to The City. A second option would include everything in option one but also add four express bus routes to The City.

KQED reported that BART has already begun outreach on its trains during the early morning hours.

While the transit agency anticipates beginning the work in September, they could move the project start date to February 2019 if AC Transit is unable to secure enough buses for BART’s bus plan.

BART staff plan to go to the Board of Directors with a summary of the outreach this summer and the board will decide on which bus plan to approve.

The transit agency said they expect the work to take about four years to complete.

Below are the outreach events. All event times are from 4 a.m. to 6 a.m.:

  • April 10: 12th Street Oakland City Center Station concourse.
  • April 12: Powell Street Station concourse.
  • April 16: Embarcadero Station concourse.
  • April 17: MacArthur Station concourse.
  • April 18: Montgomery Street Station concourse.
  • April 19: 24th Street Mission concourse.

Jerold Chinn
Jerold Chinn is the San Francisco Bureau Chief of SFBay. A San Francisco native, he has spent a decade covering transportation in San Francisco. Send tips to or at Twitter @Jerold_Chinn.

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