Greater weekday frequency of BART trains, and normal late-night service are back starting today, August 2, though the trains are likely to still be pretty empty for another couple of months.
BART has been gearing up for a return to almost-normal for several months now, and Monday marks the return of 15-minute frequencies all day long for all five of BART's lines, as well as the return of trains between 9 p.m. and midnight — though for a few weeks BART has been running a couple of special 11:30 p.m. trains for stranded East Bay residents.
The hours are now 5 a.m. to midnight, Monday to Friday; and 6 a.m. to midnight on Saturday. Sundays still have limited service with 30-minute frequencies, just from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
"The new schedule is very similar to the one before the pandemic, but with some targeted service expansions but also some areas that will not return to pre-pandemic levels such as the extra commuter trains on the Antioch-SFO (Yellow) line during peak hours," BART says in an announcement.
The change today, BART explains, marks more than double the service level commuters saw in July. Beginning this week, BART will be operating a combined 875 hours each weekday compared with only 498 in-service hours in mid-July, an increase of 76%.
BART General Manager Bob Powers was out riding trains and checking things out on this big return day, as seen on Twitter.
BART’s General Manager Bob Powers is out in the system checking in with riders and staff about the new schedule. He is looking at signage, cleanliness, and mask compliance. We also have delays right now so he is listening for good announcements. pic.twitter.com/soIIMRMJeI— SFBART (@SFBART) August 2, 2021
BART's app and online trip planner service have been updated with the new schedule, and they've updated the full train map as well, which includes a few small changes. There's no longer a purple line indicating shuttle service between Millbrae and SFO — that shuttle has been replaced with newly configured service on the Red line that is "Millbrae+SFO" instead of terminating in Millbrae.
Also, instead of just saying "EAST BAY," the map now says "OAKLAND" as well.
"We added Oakland to the map because we can and because our heart belongs in Oakland," BART says.
Don't forget that in September, BART rides will be 50% on Clipper cards — a promotion that was meant to coincide with the system returning to full service, but that's happening a month early.
Here's the new system map:
Also happening today is the return of SF's cable cars to limited service (with free rides), with full revenue service coming in September.
Photo courtesy of BART