Revelers in San Francisco can rejoice over the fact that transit options will flourish tonight for New Year's Eve. Whether traveling by taxi, Uber, Muni or sleigh (OK, maybe not that last one), you will be covered.
Muni will be free, BART is running late and taxis are offering steep discounts. And of course, Uber promises scorching surge prices for revelers, detailing in an email that trips would be at least $100 after 2 a.m. Also, pay extra-close attention to the BART schedule, as certain trains will only be serving specific stations late at night and early the next morning.
Ride free: The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency's complimentary Muni service will run from 8 tonight to 5 a.m. Thursday on all routes. Cable car lines will be replaced by buses at 8 tonight, at which point they will be free.
Extended service: Muni lines K-Ingleside, L-Taraval and M-Ocean View will run until 4 a.m. between the West Portal and Embarcadero stations, and N-Judah and T-Third Street lines will run from downtown stations to Fourth and King streets until 2:15 a.m. Extra Owl bus service (1 to 5 a.m.) will be on the 5-Fulton, 14-Mission, 22-Fillmore, 24-Divisadero, 38-Geary, 90-Owl, 91-Owl, L and N lines.
Extended service: Trains will run until 3 a.m. New Year's Day. But East Bay-bound trains past midnight will not hit all stops. Starting at 8 p.m., BART will use a skip-stop pattern at the Montgomery Street, Embarcadero and West Oakland stations.
Passengers heading in the Pittsburg-Bay Point and Richmond directions must use the Montgomery Street station. Trains on these lines will not stop at Embarcadero.
Passengers heading in the Dublin-Pleasanton and Fremont directions must board at Embarcadero. Trains on these lines will not stop at Montgomery Street or West Oakland, making their first East Bay stop at Lake Merritt.
Riders heading toward Daly City and Millbrae are advised to use the Montgomery Street station, which is expected to be the least crowded of the downtown San Francisco stations. These trains will not skip stops.
Ride free: Starting at 8 tonight, Caltrain will not charge passengers.
Extended service: Extra trains will depart the Fourth and King streets station in San Francisco at 12:45, 1:15, 1:45 and 2:15 a.m., making all local stops to the San Jose-Diridon station. Warning: Trains will depart early if filled to capacity.
Discounted rides: From 8 tonight to 3 a.m. Thursday, all rides hailed through the taxi app Flywheel will be a flat $10 unless they exceed $50. At that point, they will be charged as normal.
Higher prices after 12:30 a.m.: Uber's notorious and controversial surge pricing is never fun, but at least the app-based ride service issued an early warning. The company said on its website that drivers receive the most requests for rides between 12:30 and 2:30 a.m. New Year's Day. Surge pricing increases the normal price of a ride depending on demand. “On busy nights with peak demand — like New Year's Eve — we use surge pricing to get enough cars on the road and help ensure you always have a reliable ride,” Uber said on its website. Its recommendation to avoid being gouged: Leave the party early, ordering your ride as the “ball drops.” Gee, thanks a lot.
No meters or street cleaning: Parking and cleaning enforcement is normal on New Year's Eve but, according to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, meters and seven-day street sweeping will not be enforced New Year's Day. That includes The Embarcadero and Fisherman's Wharf areas.