After a 35-year delay, Bay Area Rapid Transit officials have finally found enough money to upgrade service so that trains will run every 15 minutes on weeknights and weekends, BART spokesman Linton Johnson said today.
The upgraded service will start Jan. 1 and was made possible because the state's budget didn't take as much money away from BART as had been feared, Johnson said.
Noting that BART celebrated 35 years of passenger service on Sept. 11, Johnson said shortening the maximum time between trains on weeknights and weekends from 20 minutes to 15 minutes “has been 35 years in the making but we finally got around to it.”
Johnson said shortening the wait between trains has always been a goal but until now there wasn't enough money to achieve.
He said that goal will now be accomplished both because enough money has been found and because upgrading service has become an even higher
priority for BART based on customer surveys.
Effective Jan. 1, trains will arrive at each station at intervals no longer than 15 minutes apart after 7 p.m. on weeknights and Saturday nights and all day on Sundays.
BART officials estimate that the added service will cost the train system $1 million in initial startup costs plus a recurring net cost of $1 million a year.
They predict that BART will spend about $3 million more annually on labor, power and maintenance but will take in about $2 million more annually in fares from more riders.
— Bay City News