Published Friday, May 11, 2007, in the San Mateo County Times
BART unveils plans to improve SFO service
By Denis Cuff
BART will improve service on the San Francisco Airport extension line
with more trains, speedier service and new long-term parking at some
stations, managers announced Thursday.
Beginning in September, BART will offer direct service to the airport
via the Pittsburg-Bay Point line. Richmond trains will go directly
to Millbrae. The Dublin-Pleasanton line, which currently goes to the
airport, will now end in Daly City.
From the Peninsula, BART commuters will be able to travel from the
Millbrae station to downtown San Francisco without stopping at the
"We will have more trains and faster service," BART spokesman Linton
Johnson said after a transit system board meeting in Oakland where the
plans were unveiled.
BART riders for the first time also will be able to sign up for paid
overnight parking at BART stations in San Mateo County.
Train system managers said the service upgrades are possible because
BART took over full control of the airport line in February after
dissolving a joint operating partnership with SamTrans in San Mateo
San Mateo officials previously had resisted BART service improvements
on the five-station line because they would have had to help pay for
"Now we are free of those shackles, we can offer our customers
improved service," Johnson said.
[BATN: In other words, we're free to use the fares of Muni Fast Pass
riders and daily Oakland-SF commuters to covertly cross-subsidize the
operation of empty trains at unsupportably frequent intervals to white
elephant ghost-town stations. What possible justification could there
be for running a train every 7.7 minutes in each direction through
stations such as San Bruno (total daily ridership circa 4100) or South
San Francisco (circa 5100)?
We note that this is the same ruinously expensive and spectacularly
under-used service plan that BART operated when the extension first
opened, and which was immediately proven to be a limitless fiscal
black hole. The chances that anything has changed, other than BART's
ability to hide the losses from scrutiny through internal
cross-subsidization, are zero.]
The SFO extension runs nine miles through San Mateo County from Daly
City through stations in Colma, South San Francisco, San Bruno, the
San Francisco airport, and finally Millbrae.
BART passengers bound for the airport now have only one choice: the
yellow line from Dublin.
Customers who want to go to the southernmost stop at Millbrae must get
off at the airport and board a separate shuttle train to Millbrae.
[BATN: Absolutely false!!! Trains continue through SFIA by reversing
and continuing to Millbrae. No change of train is involved for the
handful of riders who choose to make the expensive trip on this
spectacularly misconceived and inutile line. And nobody talks about a
"yellow line" on BART ... and if anybody did, it is the Pittsburg line
which is marked that way on the system maps. Have any of these people
ever ridden BART, we wonder?]
When the changes are made, BART will use trains from two lines --
Pittsburg-Bay Point and Richmond -- to carry southbound passengers
to the San Bruno station.
From there, Pittsburg-Bay Point trains will continue on directly to
the airport. Trains from Richmond will continue on directly to
Likewise, San Francisco-bound passengers boarding at the Millbrae
station will have a shorter ride because their trains will bypass
the airport station.
The service improvements will be considered by the BART board of
directors June 14 along with the operating budget for the train
BART officials predict the ridership on the SFO extension, which has
disappointed BART officials, will grow by 2 percent because of the
[BATN: First, what "disappointment"? The contractors who own the
agency and who direct its capital programs made out like bandits. The
system functioned exactly as designed. The extension only carries
riders as a side-effect of its primary role. So what's the problem?
Next stop: extension to San Jose!
Second, *doubling* service frequency -- running very long and very,
very empty trains every 7.5 minutes weekdays and Saturdays, and at
worst every 10 minutes evenings and Sundays -- is expected to increase
ridership by a whole TWO PERCENT? Talk about burning money!]
Contact reporter Denis Cuff at 925-943-8267 or dcuff@...
[BATN: See also:
BART plans to restore lightly-used direct-to-Millbrae service
BART may increase service, routes to SFO, Millbrae in September