BART vision: More big-city, less casual commute

It may not ever turn into London’s Underground or New York’s subway system, but BART is going to move away from its casual sit-and-ride style into a faster-paced system meant to deal with growing rider volume in the next two decades.

According to the Short Range Transit Plan and Capital Improvement Program report released Tuesday, the transit agency is going to move toward a more metropolitan service — like those in Chicago and European cities — with shorter waits between trains and fewer seats in each car, to move people on and off more quickly.

“We have to grow, but we can’t expand the stations anymore, so the way to accomplish that is to run trains closer together and get passengers on and off faster,” BART spokesman Linton Johnson said.

BART is anticipating an annual 1.6 percent increase in riders, turning fiscal year 2007’s 101.7 million riders into more than 120 million by 2017.

Weekday trips alone will increase from 339,359 to a projected 402,706.

Although the agency is still looking at budget deficits for the next five years, 2008 will see an increase in funding to add trains on nights and weekends. That is expected to lower the maximum wait time 5 minutes for trains between 7 p.m. and midnight Monday through Saturday and all day on Sunday.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2008, trains running out of Richmond will begin an hour earlier, at 4 a.m. every morning.

Johnson said an earlier train into San Francisco International Airport is also planned, although a final schedule has not been drawn up.

The expansions will also allow BART to fulfill its part in the Bay Area Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s Regional Rail Plan, which has BART and Caltrain as the “regional rail backbone of the central Bay Area metro system,” according to MTC Planning Director Doug Kinsey.

“The ultimate goal is to provide a seamless transit system throughout the region,” Kinsey said. “It doesn’t have to be one system, it just has to be well-coordinated.”

A major factor in that system will be BART’s planned expansions into the South Bay.

According to the report, an extension from Fremont into the Warm Springs area near Milpitas will be followed by the much-anticipated San Jose expansion, terminating at the Santa Clara Caltrain station near Santa Clara University.

jgoldman@examiner.com

Bay Area NewsLocal

Just Posted

A collaborative workspace for a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) in Coordinape is pictured at a recent blockchain meet up at Atlas Cafe. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
Business without bosses: San Francisco innovators battle bureaucracy with blockchain

‘The next generation will work for three DAOs at the same time’

Plan Bay Area 2050 is an expansive plan guiding the region’s growth and development over the next three decades. The regional plan addresses progressive policy priorities like a universal basic income and a region-wide rent cap, alongside massive new spending on affordable housing and transportation infrastructure. (Shutterstock)
Plan Bay Area 2050: Analyzing an extensive regional plan that covers the next 30 years

Here are the big ticket proposals in the $1.4 trillion proposal

Pregnant women are in the high-risk category currently prioritized for booster shots in San Francisco. (Unai Huizi/Shutterstock)
What pregnant women need to know about COVID and booster shots

Inoculations for immunosuppressed individuals are recommended in the second trimester

Examiner reporter Ben Schneider drives an Arcimoto Fun Utility Vehicle along Beach Street in Fisherman’s Wharf on Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Could San Francisco’s tiny tourist cruisers become the cars of the future?

‘Fun Utility Vehicles’ have arrived in The City

Most Read