For the first time in its history, BART offered five lines of service, in addition to a return to pre-pandemic hours of operation Sunday.
According to a BART press release, five-line service Sundays will increase transit in the busiest locations while reducing the number of transfers travelers have to make. This change will provide more equitable service to riders on the Richmond and Berryessa lines who previously had to transfer lines in order to complete a trip across the Bay, while other lines offered direct service.
With the new changes, 97% of Sunday travelers will be able to get to their destination without transferring, as opposed to only 82% previously, the press release notes.
“Extending the operating hours means increased opportunities for riders to get to and from Berkeley’s three stations … to the rest of the system’s 47 other stations,” said BART spokesperson James Allison said in an email.
According to Allison, the changes include service until midnight Sundays; four trains each hour at the San Francisco International Airport station until 9 p.m; and five-line service until 9 p.m. with three-line service after 9 p.m. every day.
The press release notes that the reason for BART’s reduced services throughout the pandemic was to provide more time for infrastructure rebuilding projects.
Berkeley City Council members expressed support for these changes, noting increased access to quality public transportation as essential to combating climate change.
“Making BART run later is a crucial part of asking folks to get out of their cars and to be able to go about their daily lives,” said Councilmember Sophie Hahn in an email. “We shouldn’t make it easier to drive than to take public transportation.”
According to the press release, the schedule changes will affect departure times. BART encourages riders to check specific trips on the updated Trip Planner feature.
The five-line service will be available every Sunday except for a number of days when San Francisco power cable replacement will take place. The press release notes, however, that three-line service will still be available.
According to Councilmember Rigel Robinson, the expansion of the five-line service to Sundays will allow residents of Berkeley to travel to and from San Francisco with more ease.
“This is a long overdue and welcome change for Berkeleyans, and it helps better connect the region,” Robinson said in an email. “It’s a good time to live on the Red Line!”