Starting on Monday, passengers on BART will have an easier time connecting to other transit services thanks to a series of small changes that improve connectivity and provide more flexibility to meet changes in ridership demand.
Millbrae riders will arrive and depart from the platform closest to the Caltrain connection, all but eliminating the concourse trek between the two rail providers that has long plagued regular commuters.
BART and Caltrain transfer times will also be more synchronized and wayfinding improved.
Additionally, BART passengers traveling on weekdays from Richmond can reach SFO without having to change trains.
Trains will pass through Millbrae Station before terminating at the airport and turning around to head back to Richmond.
These changes were spurred by recommendations from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s Blue Ribbon Task Force, a body of regional transit leaders formed in May 2020 to help guide the future of the Bay Area’s transportation network.
The Task Force also urged Caltrain to add weekday service to make it easier for riders to connect seamlessly with other providers, a suggestion the Peninsula rail network heeded with the addition of two more weekday trains on Monday, bringing the total number of daily trains to 70.
Ridership on BART over the past year has not surpassed its high of 55,705 weekday riders set on October 30.
However, these small changes pave the way for the system to increase service should ridership spike as the region continues to reopen, according to BART officials.
As part of its 15-step recovery plan, BART has said it can maintain six-feet of social distancing so long as there are no more than 30 people on a single train car. Once ridership counts begin to consistently show numbers at or above that, the agency will add back trips, a process made far easier by these service changes, the press release said.
Weekday frequency and service hours will remain the same for now, but the agency said these schedule changes give it the ability to add up to 26 additional trips to support the current 15-minute frequency of trains on most lines from Monday to Friday.
Coming a few days later on March 27, Saturday and Sunday will have identical schedules, running three routes: the Antioch- SFO/Millbrae line, the Berryessa/North San Jose – Richmond Line and the Dublin/Pleasanton – Daly City lines.