In order to help residents avoid surging rideshare prices and reduce the potential for roadway injuries or deaths, Bay Area transit agencies are offering extended late-night service and free fares. The plan is to help those ringing in the new year get home safely.
Here’s a rundown of local service changes and how to make sure you aren’t accidentally charged for your complimentary ride:
Muni is again offering free and additional service on New Year’s Eve from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. All Muni lines and routes will be free, and to avoid being charged, riders should not tap their Clipper Cards.
Muni Mobile passes will also not be needed, and Muni Metro fare gates will remain open throughout the night. The Central Subway is providing free but shortened rail service starting at 8 a.m. and ending early at 5 p.m. on both Dec. 31 and Jan. 1.
Additional Muni Metro subway service will be provided from 8 p.m. to 2:15 a.m. between West Portal Station and Fourth & King, as well as between West Portal and Embarcadero Station.
BART trains will be running additional late night service for New Year’s Eve; however, normal fares will remain. The transit agency is running its regular Saturday service until midnight on Dec. 31 but will dispatch a special three-line service at 1 a.m. All stops will be serviced except for those at San Francisco and Oakland airports.
The Orange Line will run from Richmond to Berryessa with timed transfers available at MacArthur and 12th Street Oakland. The Yellow Line will run from Antioch to Millbrae and stop at all stations except SFO. Blue line will operate only from Bay Fair to Dublin with timed transfers to San Francisco available at 12th Street Oakland. A regular Sunday service will run on New Year’s Day. Additional details can be found here.
Caltrain is offering free fares beginning at 8 p.m., and passengers should not tap their Clipper Cards between 8 p.m. and 3:30 a.m. to avoid being charged. For those looking to catch the fireworks in San Francisco, additional northbound service trains from San Jose Diridon Station run at 7:42 p.m. and 8:42 p.m. The final train of the night will depart from San Francisco's Fourth and King Station at 2 a.m., making all stops.
Think twice about keeping the party going on the trains: The agency reminds customers that open beverages are prohibited on its vehicles beginning at 9 p.m. More information about the extended service can be found here.
SamTrans is providing free service for all rides, including paratransit, on New Year’s Eve starting at 8 p.m. and running though 3 a.m. The agency will be running its normal Saturday schedule. On New Year’s Day and on Jan. 2, SamTrans will be running a Sunday schedule in observance of the holiday. More information can be found here.
Kevin Truong can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org