Major schedule changes are coming to BART’s schedule starting Monday, Sept. 11 which transit officials have described as a “reimagined” schedule that promises passengers waiting for trains will not have to wait no more than 20 minutes no matter what time a day it is or the day of the week.
The Bay Area transit system is increasing service on its busiest weekday line, the Yellow Line between Pittsburg/Bay Point to San Francisco International Airport, by running from every 15 minutes to 10 minutes.
Officials said they have been able to increase service on busy lines and improve service on weeknights and weekends by making cost-neutral changes to the schedule. That means the transit agency will “slightly” scale back some weekday train services based on ridership data and parts of the system where passengers are served by multiple lines or have the option to make a transfer, BART said.
The Blue Line (West Dublin/Pleasanton to Daly City), for example, will run every 20 minutes at all hours instead of every 15 minutes in order to increase service on weeknights and weekends.
BART is also increasing service for passengers flying out of SFO. Nine trains will run every hour in the daytime instead of eight trains to the airport. On nights and weekends, trains will arrive and depart every 20 minutes instead of 30 minutes. All Red Line (Richmond to Millbrae + SFO) trains will stop at the airport first before heading to Millbrae. BART said the change will increase service to the airport and be less confusing for airport passengers at the Millbrae station, BART said.
In addition to the schedule changes, the transit system announced last month that will no longer run its legacy fleet of trains when the new schedule kicks in. Instead, BART will run its new fleet of trains. Passengers may occasionally see the transit agency run the old fleet during events or for contingencies.
BART said it was able to exclusively run its new fleet of trains by shortening the length of trains. Passengers have been used to seeing 10-car trains on some lines, including the Yellow, Red, and Blue lines. Instead, the Yellow Line will shrink from 10 cars to 8 cars while the Red and Blue lines will run with four fewer cars on weekdays. The Green and Orange lines will have two fewer cars running, decreasing the length of trains from eight cars to six cars. The new train lengths will be the same on weekends.
Transit officials said the shorter train lengths will help improve the safety of passengers on trains and improve the cleaning of trains as crews will have fewer cars to clean at the end of the line. BART said they will monitor crowding on trains and will make adjustments as needed.
BART has posted a YouTube video of the upcoming schedule and service changes as well more information about the changes on its website, including timed transfers and the new weekday and weekend timetables.
Jerold serves as a reporter and San Francisco Bureau Chief for SFBay covering transportation, City Hall, and the Mayor's Office in San Francisco. His work on transportation has been recognized by the San Francisco Press Club. Born and raised in San Francisco, he graduated from San Francisco State University with a degree in journalism. Jerold previously wrote for the San Francisco Public Press, a nonprofit, noncommercial news organization. When not reporting, you can find Jerold taking Muni to check out new places to eat in the city.