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BART to halve peak service on failed SFO extension

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  • 7/26 SF Chronicle
    Published Tuesday, July 26, 2005, in the San Francisco Chronicle BART to halt many rush-hour trains to SFO Lack of Peninsula riders brings change -- system
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 26, 2005
      Published Tuesday, July 26, 2005, in the San Francisco Chronicle

      BART to halt many rush-hour trains to SFO

      Lack of Peninsula riders brings change -- system will save almost
      $4 million a year

      By Dave Murphy
      Chronicle Staff Writer

      Plagued by low ridership on its Peninsula extension, BART plans to
      cut its rush-hour service to San Francisco International Airport in
      half starting in September in a move to save nearly $4 million a
      year, transit officials said Monday.

      Under the plan, trains to SFO and Millbrae would run every 15
      minutes rather than about every 7 minutes during commute hours, said
      Janet McGovern, a spokeswoman for SamTrans, which pays the net
      operating cost for BART service on the Peninsula.

      BART directors must approve the change, a spokesman said.

      If the changes are approved, the only direct rush-hour BART trains
      to SFO would be on the Dublin/Pleasanton line every 15 minutes --
      the same frequency as during the rest of the day.

      Passengers on the Richmond and Pittsburg/Bay Point lines who now go
      direct to the airport would have to transfer before those lines
      would end at Daly City.

      McGovern said BART ridership and revenue for the four stations south
      of Colma, which opened in June 2003, continued to fall short of
      projections, and SamTrans has budgeted $10 million for the 2006
      fiscal year, which started July 1.

      In June, the average weekday ridership at those stations and Colma
      was about 29,000 -- less than half of what BART had projected before
      the extension opened.

      The SamTrans board of directors will have a public hearing on two
      other BART-related matters on Aug. 10: It will consider whether
      to suspend weekend BART service at the San Bruno and South San
      Francisco stations and whether to charge patrons $1 more each way
      for rides between the airport and the BART stations from Colma

      The hearing will be at 2 p.m. at the SamTrans office, 1250 San
      Carlos Ave., San Carlos.

      Cutting the rush-hour service to SFO and Millbrae is expected to
      save $3. 6 million, while eliminating weekend service in San Bruno
      and South San Francisco would save another $1.1 million. Another $1
      million in revenue would come from the airport trips from Peninsula

      If approved by the agencies, McGovern said, the weekend service to
      the two stations would stop after Sept. 12, and the airport fare
      increase would go into effect Jan. 1, accompanying a 3.7 percent
      fare increase and 10-cent Peninsula surcharge already approved by

      Several other changes involving BART, Caltrain and SamTrans service
      are set to go into effect Monday.

      The most significant is that 10 more of the popular Baby Bullet
      trains will run between San Francisco and San Jose.

      Those trains make far fewer stops than local trains, allowing for
      faster commutes.

      As part of the change, some trains will stop at stations previously
      not used by Baby Bullets, including San Mateo, Redwood City, Menlo
      Park, Sunnyvale and Tamien in San Jose.

      In order to accomplish some of the changes in service, Caltrain will
      no longer make weekday stops at stations in Atherton, Broadway in
      Burlingame and Paul Avenue in San Francisco.

      To accommodate the new train schedule, SamTrans is changing 14 bus
      routes, with adjustments up and down San Mateo County.

      Another change comes in Colma, where the parking fee at the BART
      station will drop from $2 to $1, as will the fee at SamTrans'
      neighboring Park and Ride lot. Since BART expanded to the airport,
      Colma ridership has dropped about in half, and there is no parking
      fee for the BART stations in San Bruno, South San Francisco and

      The parking fee for the Daly City BART station will remain at $2.

      Transit changes

      For more information on potential changes in BART's service to
      the Peninsula and San Francisco International Airport, see
      <http://www.samtrans.com>. For details on the Baby Bullets, see

      E-mail Dave Murphy at dmurphy@...

      [BATN: See also:

      SamTrans plan to hike SMCo.-SFO BART fares $1 advances

      SMCo.-SFO BART fares to rise $1; stations to close weekends

      Letters: Uncompetitive BART Millbrae extension boondoggle

      BART Millbrae extension a dud: Caltrain now blamed

      SamTrans, BART seek to escape disastrous agreement with SFO

      Editorial: SMCo. blameless "victim" of failed BART extension

      Was SFO/Millbrae BART extension worth the cost?

      Long-term solutions needed for SamTrans, Caltrain finances

      SMCo. BART disaster: We told you so, in 1995

      Column: SamTrans defict linked to BART; board unaccountable

      Editorial: Stay the course hemorrhaging SMCo. cash on BART

      Failed SMCo. BART station weekend closures worry a few

      Samtrans wants to close failed BART stations on weekends

      To cut losses, SamTrans seeks SFO, SMCo. BART fare hike

      SamTrans, losing $8m/year on BART, seeks more service cuts

      SamTrans increases deficit estimate by $6m to $23m

      SamTrans pays to mail out 50,000 free $15 BART tickets
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BATN/message/23438 ]
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