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Unused San Bruno, SSF BART stations to close on weekends

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  • 5/13 San Mateo Journal
    Published Friday, May 13, 2005, in the San Mateo Daily Journal Weekend BART plan draws fire By Stephen Baxter Bay Area Rapid Transit trains might not stop at
    Message 1 of 1 , May 13, 2005
      Published Friday, May 13, 2005, in the San Mateo Daily Journal

      Weekend BART plan draws fire

      By Stephen Baxter

      Bay Area Rapid Transit trains might not stop at San Bruno or South San
      Francisco stations on weekends starting in August, but riders and some
      local leaders seem to be riding along with the plan because the system
      serves more weekday commuters.

      The general manager of SamTrans, the San Mateo County Transit
      District, proposed this week to cut weekend service at two of the San
      Mateo County stations to help reduce payments it makes to BART to
      operate. SamTrans is expected to pay BART $10 million this year, and
      would pay $5 million in 2006 and nothing in 2007 if service revisions
      are made.

      Mike Nevin, a member of the SamTrans board, said on Thursday the plan
      would work because ridership dips at San Bruno and South City on
      weekends.

      "We're talking about time periods with the worst usage," Nevin said.
      "We're trying to get to a level of service that we can afford."

      Nevin said he has ambitious plans of BART looping the South Bay and
      connecting with more buses and Caltrain, but some San Bruno leaders
      have been against BART since the station opened in 2003 -- calling it
      a waste of money.

      "I expected something like this," said Chris Pallas, a long-time San
      Bruno City Councilman. "They want to cut the service because people
      aren't using it."

      The Shops at Tanforan is being remodeled next to the San Bruno BART
      station, but it is unclear how many riders use the station to shop
      there. On Thursday evening several trains unloaded and few passengers
      walked in the direction of the shopping mall. A Tanforan spokesman
      declined to comment.

      Victor Howe, a BART rider waiting for a train there Thursday, works in
      San Bruno but lives in San Francisco. He rides BART every weekday,
      and sometimes rides on weekends. If it did not stop in San Bruno on
      weekends, "that would be a convenience to people going to SFO," he
      said.

      "They could just buzz on through."

      Crystal English, another BART rider, said she takes the train to Daly
      City from San Bruno during the week but also rarely rides on weekends.

      About 110 trains roll into the San Bruno and South San Francisco
      stations on Saturdays and 100 on Sundays, according to BART schedules.

      BART statistics show fewer people ride the train on weekends in San
      Bruno and South City.

      On Saturday, April 30, 750 used the San Bruno station and 736 used the
      South City station, while Millbrae served 1,560.

      San Bruno City Manager Connie Jackson seemed resigned to closing San
      Bruno's station on weekends.

      "It appears this is the best possible solution," Jackson said.

      When Tanforan opens completely she said she hoped it would help punch
      up ridership.

      "I certainly think it's an important initiative for this part of the
      Peninsula ... maintaining the peak use of the system is certainly
      important."


      Stephen Baxter can be reached at stephen@...
      or 650 344-5200 x109.
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