SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Muni service in San Francisco will be free on New Year’s Eve, according to the city’s Municipal Transportation Agency.

Starting at 8 p.m. Tuesday and ending at 5 a.m. Wednesday, people will be able to ride Muni for free, marking the 20th year of the agency’s free New Year’s Eve rides.

All Muni lines and routes will provide free rides. Details are available at http://sfmta.com/nye

Caltrain service and SamTrans buses will also be free between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m.

BART will provide limited service until about 3 a.m. Wednesday but the rides won’t be free.

SANTA CLARA COUNTY VTA

The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority is offering a few days of free rides hoping for increased ridership as the public transit provider launches a new higher-frequency route plan.

Beginning Saturday, with its first bus route of the day, VTA is providing free rides system-wide on all buses and trains until about 5 a.m. Wednesday morning on New Year’s Day, said Brandi Childress, spokeswoman for VTA.

While the transportation authority sometimes offers a single free-ride day, “this time around we wanted to make it easy for people to try our service and really say thank-you for the patience everyone has had as we roll out our newly-designed transit service,” Childress said.

“As we were preparing for the new BART system, we knew this would be a good opportunity to look at the system and find areas where we can improve frequency and connect bus routes that would help the regional service,” Childress added.

VTA debuted a new “frequent routes” plan Saturday, with 20 bus and light rail routes said to pick up every 15 minutes or less during weekdays at stops throughout the county.

“This is the most significant transit service change that VTA has implemented since 2008,” VTA said in a news release Tuesday. “Not only has service been redesigned to accommodate the addition of BART service but it will give more people more frequent and reliable transit options.

The change was made with community input over 18 months and will shift low-ridership routes so that 90 percent of the service is focused on high-ridership areas, according to VTA.

Silicon Valley residents still await Santa Clara County BART extensions to BART’s Berryessa and Milpitas stations, which were supposed to open before the new year and have since been deferred without a new opening day.

VTA will run bus routes to the would-be extensions starting Saturday.

More info on the free rides and new service routes can be found at http://newservice.vta.org

BART New Year’s Eve Service

Some New Year’s Eve BART trains will skip downtown San Francisco stations, to help better accommodate large crowds expected for festivities including the big fireworks show, BART officials said.

New Year’s Eve changes include special service between 8 p.m. Tuesday and midnight that will include trains on the Antioch and Richmond lines heading in or out of San Francisco will not stop at the Embarcadero station in either direction

Similarly, trains on the Dublin and Warm Springs lines between 8 p.m. Tuesday and midnight will skip the Montgomery station stop in both directions.

Passengers on the Antioch and Richmond lines should use the Montgomery station to arrive at, and depart from, downtown San Francisco on New Year’s Eve. Similarly, passengers using the Dublin and Warm Springs line to get to San Francisco should use the Embarcadero station that night.

Trains from Millbrae, Daly City and SFO will stop at all stations in San Francisco.

After the New Year’s fireworks show, Dublin/Pleasanton and South Fremont/Warm Springs line trains will not stop at West Oakland; the first East Bay stop for trains on those routes will be the Lake Merritt Station. You will need to change to a San Francisco-bound train at Lake Merritt if you need to return to West Oakland.

Also after the fireworks show, passengers on the Millbrae, Daly City and SFO lines should use Montgomery station.

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