Today is the first day for the pilot BART Ambassadors program, so commuters may begin seeing the unarmed outreach personnel patrolling trains in search of quality-of-life infractions. Also, some train schedules are shifting for commuters between SF and the East Bay.
BART's board voted last month to approve the six-month pilot program at a cost of $690,000, utilizing 10 unsworn, civilian employees of the BART Police Department who will be conducting their patrols in teams of two. Wearing BART T-shirts that say "Ambassador" across the back, these staffers will be on the lookout for biohazards and discarded trash, and they'll conduct outreach to the homeless as needed. They'll be starting patrols on trains running between 12th Street in Oakland and Civic Center in SF, working between 2 p.m. and midnight.
The program was approved in the wake of several incidents last fall that had riders calling both for more official presence in stations and aboard trains, and also for less selective enforcement of minor infractions by BART cops. In one November incident, a man was fatally stabbed aboard a BART train in Hayward, allegedly by a mentally ill suspect who might not have committed the crime had he been intercepted earlier. In another incident two weeks earlier, a person of color was detained and ticketed by a BART Police officer for eating a breakfast sandwich on an East Bay BART platform, leading to a public outcry and protests. (Much of what was said at the time was that BART Police never seem to be around when they're actually needed, and here they were enforcing the no-eating policy when riders witness far more egregious acts every day.)
Also beginning Monday, as KRON4 reports, BART is adding more peak-hour service to Concord and Warm Springs, which will impact schedules for some commuters traveling in those directions by a few minutes. Also, there are some changes to weekend service pertaining to times when single-tracking is occurring.
Below, via BART, are the bullet points explaining the service changes.
- Morning peak-period trains that previously originated or turned back at Pleasant Hill will now originate/turn back at Concord, allowing BART to better serve more riders on this busy line by returning extra service to Concord. In September 2015, BART changed its schedule and these trains went from starting at Concord to starting at Pleasant Hill. Over the years, morning riders looking to target these short run trains because they were less crowded, shifted their origin station to Pleasant Hill. These riders may now opt to begin their trip at Concord once again. Pleasant Hill will still be served by the same number of trains in the morning, but many of them will no longer originate at the station. 3 trains will originate at Pleasant Hill in the 6 am hour. Some PM commute trains will also end at Concord instead of Pleasant Hill. Riders will no longer see “Pleasant Hill” trains on the platform signs, instead they will be “Concord” trains.
- The first trip from Richmond to Warm Springs (Orange Line) will leave Richmond at 5:04 am—17 minutes earlier than before.
- The 5:00 am northbound train from South Hayward is now a Warm Springs/Richmond (Orange Line) train to Richmond instead of a Warm Springs/Daly City (Green Line) train to Daly City.Passengers heading to San Francisco will need to use Dublin/Pleasanton to Daly City (Blue Line) or Antioch/SFO (Yellow Line) trains for the first San Francisco arrivals, arriving in San Francisco 8 minutes later.
- Service to San Francisco from Warm Springs will be earlier with the first Warm Springs/Daly City (Green Line) train departing at 5:01 am instead of 5:15 am.
- We are extending evening direct service on the Warm Springs/Daly City (Green Line) from Daly City to Warm Springs with an added train departing at 7:12 pm.
- We have eliminated the morning peak 9:12 am Antioch/SFO (Yellow Line) departure from MacArthur to Daly City to enable the Concord turnback trains to serve more riders.
- The evening schedule has been adjusted to better accommodate Transbay Tube single-tracking
- We’ve added more Fleet of the Future (FOTF) trains—two each on Antioch/SFO (Yellow Line), Dublin/Pleasanton (Blue Line), and Richmond/Millbrae (Red Line). The Warm Springs/Daly City (Green Line) will run four FOTF trains, or 50% of our existing FOTF trains.
- The first northbound Warm Springs/Richmond (Orange Line) train starts in service at Bay Fair at 5:52 am instead of Coliseum at 6:00 am
- The first westbound Dublin/Pleasanton to Daly City (Blue Line) train starts in service at Bay Fair at 5:58 am instead of Coliseum at 6:06 am.
- We will return to two-line service into San Francisco. The Dublin/Pleasanton (Blue Line) will serve San Francisco (see the map below). Blue line trains will terminate at Montgomery or Daly City depending on the time of day and if there is single tracking. Riders on the Blue Line who are traveling farther south will transfer to a Yellow Line train at Montgomery St.Warm Springs/Daly City (Green Line) and Richmond/Millbrae (Red Line) trips were eliminated to make way for the return of Dublin/Pleasanton (Blue Line), service to San Francisco.
- Headways on Sundays will be every 24 minutes on all lines, four minutes longer than the current Sunday service plan. BART staff believes this service plan will provide greater predictability and resilience in the event of a service delay.
- Trips to Millbrae will no longer require a transfer at SFO on Sundays. The Sunday map below still shows the “Purple line,” but with no transfer bubble. The Purple line was re-introduce as a unique line in Feb. 2019, and now all trips between SFO and Millbrae are considered the Purple line- regardless of what train is used to make the trip. The Sunday trains will be labelled as “SFO/Millbrae” bound trains on platform signs and we will make on board announcements so Sunday riders know they don’t need to transfer at SFO to a Millbrae train. The concept of showing two separate lines, but offering a one-seat trip with no transfer, is called “interlining.” The train switches from one route to another. BART plans to use this concept moving forward for the Purple line to allow us to be flexible with how we operate this segment of service while keeping the map simple, without added annotations, and consistent.
- The first northbound train is Dublin/Pleasanton (Blue Line), leaves 24th St/Mission at 7:50 am, and Civic Center at 7:54 am (instead of 8:04 am)
- The first northbound train on Warm Springs/Richmond (Orange Line) will start at South Hayward at 7:54am and arrive at Coliseum at 8:10am. (Previously it started at Coliseum at 8:09 am)