BART to halve peak service on failed SFO extension
- 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
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.
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