Fewer transit cars scheduled for holidays

Local commuters planning to take public transportation such as BART or Caltrain during the holiday week will not have to face any service stoppages, but smaller trains and fewer trains on tracks may mean crowded rides.

Last year, BART ridership during the work week of Dec. 26 through Dec. 30 averaged at about 61,063 passengers during morning peak hours, according to the BART data, down from the 93,515 average in the first full work week of December. That number fell further to just under 14,000 the day after Christmas.

BART spokesperson Linton Johnson said he wouldn’t speculate on whether the drop in ridership was due to workers taking time off around Christmas, but did confirm that historically BART has fewer passengers during the holiday season.

Between Dec. 26 and 29, BART will return to its regular weekday schedule, but reduce the number of trains on the Pittsburg/Bay Point line, because they anticipate fewer commuters. Caltrain will return to its regular schedules that week, until New Year’s Eve.

BART and Caltrain will both be running Sunday schedules on Christmas Day, meaning shorter trains for BART and only 28 trains running for Caltrain.

Caltrain will run its Sunday schedules on Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. BART will be running Sunday schedule on Christmas Eve, and the schedule for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day has not been decided, according to Linton.

Caltrain Spokesman Jonah Weinberg said that because much of their weekly traffic is commuters traveling along the Peninsula, a lighter Sunday schedule is adequate for the holidays. Unlike weekday schedules with trains hitting local stations every 15 to 30 minutes, the Sunday Caltrain schedule has trains stopping once an hour.

In addition to the Sunday schedule, Caltrain will offer three trains leaving San Francisco after midnight on New Year’s Eve to encourage partiers to use public transportation rather than driving to events in The City. The trains will leave The City at 12:45 a.m., 1:30 a.m. and 2 a.m. and make all typical Sunday-schedule stops southbound.

Muni lines will also be free for riders between 8 p.m. New Year’s Eve and 6 a.m. New Year’s Day.

Holiday schedules

Christmas Eve

» BART: Sunday schedule, shorter trains.

» Caltrain: Sunday schedule, less frequent stops, later start, early end

» Muni: Weekend service

Christmas Day

» BART: Sunday schedule

» Caltrain: Sunday schedule

» Muni: Bus lines AX, 1BX, 4, 7, 9AX, 9BX, 9X, 10, 14L, 14X, 28L, 31AX, 31BX, 38AX, 38BX, 38L, 41, 80X, 81X, 82X and 88 not running.

New Year’s Eve

» BART: Lighter schedule, trains running later to carry crowds home.

» Caltrain: Sunday schedule, trains running later to carry crowds home.

» Muni: Free service between 8 p.m. and 6 p.m. Monday morning.

New Year’s Day

» BART: Unannounced schedule

» Caltrain: Sunday schedule

» Muni: Bus lines AX, 1BX, 4, 7, 9AX, 9BX, 9X, 10, 14L, 14X, 28L, 31AX, 31BX, 38AX, 38BX, 38L, 41, 80X, 81X, 82X and 88 not running

For full list of changes, visit www.bart.gov, www.caltrain.com and www.sfmuni.com.

Staff writer Bonnie Eslinger contributed to this report.

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