Late-night BART buses could start in December

Expanded late-night cross-Bay bus service could be up and running in December.

BART and Alameda-Contra Costa Transit have reached an agreement for AC Transit to expand its weekend late-night bus service between San Francisco and the East Bay and for BART to provide funding and marketing for the project.

The AC Transit board of directors was scheduled to vote on the plan Wednesday evening, and the BART board of directors is expected to consider it this morning.

AC Transit would run its existing late-night lines that travel from San Francisco to Richmond and Fremont more frequently and add a line to the Pittsburg-Bay Point BART station. The routes would also be lengthened in San Francisco to 24th and Mission streets.

Buses would run every 20 minutes between 12:30 and 2:30 a.m., about the frequency of BART trains during noncommute hours.

BART developed the plan after studying since 2011 how to offer late-night transit service. Agency officials found through polls that there was substantial support for it, but BART needs the overnight down time for daily track maintenance.

At one point, BART officials considered adjusting schedules to keep trains running later at night on the weekends, which would have pushed back when service started in the mornings.

If passed, the bus program could begin Dec. 21 and would be re-evaluated after a one-year pilot program. BART would also have the option to discontinue service with 90 days notice. Trips would cost $4.20 each way, according to AC Transit's current fare schedule.

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