SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— BART and Alameda-Contra Costa Transit announced the expansion of overnight bus service between San Francisco and the East Bay on weekends and it’s set to launch this Friday night.
AC Transit’s All-Nighter weekend service already exists during the hours the BART is shutdown. Buses will now be making stops every 20 to 30 minutes and instead of ending at Market and Van Ness Ave, there will be two new stops in San Francisco at 16th and 24th street BART stations.
AC Transit board President Greg Harper said service will also be extended into the East Bay to the Pittsburg-Bay Point BART Station as part of the one-year pilot program.
“What we’re doing is recognizing that people who need late-night service don’t want to take two and a half hours to get home,” Harper said.
Among those who are excited about the increase in late-night service is 25-year-old Berkeley resident Dani Silberstein, who works at the ThirstyBear Brewing Company in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood.
“I have had to take a cab from time to time because the bus would show up I have had to wait more than I wanted in the rain or the cold,” he said.
BART board member Rebecca Saltzman said riders who work late or enjoy nightlife on either side of the Bay have long been asking for more service so the agency secured nearly $800,000 in funds to make it happen.
“I hope that this pilot will show that there is the demand out there so we can go out together— BART and AC Transit— and find the funding to expand the service and continue it,” she said.
The new bus route, AC Transit line 822, will take passengers from the 24th St. Mission BART station to Pittsburg/Bay Point, stopping at all San Francisco BART stations and the Transbay Terminal before heading across the Bay Bridge.
In the East Bay, the 822 bus line will stop at 14th Street/Broadway and Rockridge BART in Oakland, then the BART stations in Walnut Creek, Pleasant Hill and Pittsburg/Bay Point, according to BART access coordinator Mariana Parreiras.
The new route will run every 30 minutes on Saturday and Sunday mornings from 1 a.m. to 2:30 a.m.
The existing AC Transit line 800, which serves late-night riders traveling between San Francisco and Richmond BART, and AC Transit line 801, which serves late-night travelers between Oakland and the Bay Fair BART station, will also have increased frequency between 12:30 a.m. and 2:30 a.m., with buses running every 20 minutes instead of every 30 minutes, Parreiras said.
Those two lines will continue to run nightly from 12 a.m. to 5 a.m.
According to BART spokeswoman Alicia Trost, almost $500,000 in funding comes from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s Lifeline Transportation Program, which provides for transit services for low-income and disadvantaged residents.
BART contributed $200,000 from its operating budget and about $100,000 is expected to come directly from fares from the new service.
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