Riding Muni will be free again this New Year's Eve, giving you one less excuse for making poor choices and another option for getting home after partying this end-of-year holiday weekend.
For the 24th year running, the SFMTA is offering to be your "designated driver" on New Year's Eve in San Francisco. And even though we have Uber and Lyft and Waymo now, you know that surge pricing can get insane on big holiday nights like NYE, and/or wait times can get lengthy. So having the option of walking to a bus or Muni light-rail stop might not be so bad.
Muni Metro trains will be running until 2:15 a.m. Monday morning, on New Year's Day, and all fares on trains and Muni buses will be free starting at 8 p.m. Sunday, until 5 a.m. Monday morning.
"Riding transit is the safest way to celebrate New Year’s Eve in San Francisco, and we are happy to provide free Muni service as part of our ongoing commitment to the city’s Vision Zero goal of eliminating traffic fatalities," the SFMTA says on its blog.
The agency cautions riders not to pull out their Clipper Cards or phone wallets to tag them — the gates will be open, and you don't want to be charged if you don't have to be. Of course, we all know that many people ride Muni buses for free anyway, even when it's not a free night, so nothing new there.
S-Shuttle trains will run between West Portal and 4th & King from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m., and between Chinatown and 3rd & Mariposa as well. The last trains will leave their endpoint stations at 2 a.m. headed in each direction, and stations will close at 2:15 a.m. See all specific bus line information here.
Muni was free on New Year's even during the pandemic, and they've been doing this going all the way back to the year 2000. And while BART isn't free, they will again be running extra trains through 1 a.m. to help people get home after midnight revels — but this won't be any help for those looking to party 'til last call.
BART is running six extra trains at 1 a.m. — one each in both directions on the Yellow, Orange, and Blue lines — with potentially more trains added before 1 a.m. depending on crowding. The Yellow line (Millbrae to Antioch) will be the only line servicing San Francisco, and the last train will leave Millbrae at 1 a.m., timed for a 1:43 p.m. transfer point to the Orange Line at 12th Street/Oakland City Center. That means it will be passing through the Mission District around 1:20 a.m.
Caltrain also has been offering free rides on New Year's Eve in recent years, but they have not yet announced if they're doing it again this year. Caltrain typically offers extra late-night service for NYE, and free rides starting at 8 p.m. Sunday, so stay tuned for that announcement.
Top image courtesy of the SFMTA blog