Skip to main content

Caltrain happy hour: Toast Bay Area transit at this BYOB event

Trains wait on tracks 5 and 6 for passengers at the Caltrain Station in San Francisco, Calif., on Thursday, July 18, 2019. Business leaders and transportation officials are putting together a sales tax ballot measure for next year that would generate billions for transportation infrastructure in the Bay Area. Top on their wish list is the downtown extension of Caltrain, with a tunnel running from the Mission Bay Area to the Transbay Terminal.
Have a drink with Bay Area transit bosses on a train at this Friday's event on board a Caltrain service. | Source: Carlos Avila Gonzalez/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

Bay Area transit officials, including BART and Muni bosses, will host a Bring-Your-Own-Booze happy hour aboard a Caltrain on Friday evening to celebrate Transit Month 2023.

“All Aboard with Transit CEOs” is a ride-along and social event giving the public a chance to ride with and meet regional transit leaders aboard the 5:19 p.m. Caltrain #709 service.

The event will let transit leaders call for ongoing financial support for transit operations and showcase interagency coordination to improve Bay Area rider experiences.

READ MORE: 46% of BART Riders Say They Witnessed Crime in the System, Poll Shows

SFMTA Director Jeffrey Tumlin speaks at the opening of the Central Subway line at Rose Pak Station. | Source: Juliana Yamada for The Standard

The public is invited to meet the following transit leaders from 5 p.m. at the Palo Alto Caltrain Station/Transit Center:

  • SamTrans (April Chan),
  • Caltrain (Michelle Bouchard),
  • Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (Carolyn Gonot),
  • San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (Jeff Tumlin),
  • BART (Bob Powers),
  • Water Emergency Transportation Authority/SF Bay Ferry (Seamus Murphy),
  • County Connection (Bill Churchill),
  • Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority/Wheels (Christy Wegener).

This event is a great opportunity for the public to chat with CEOs about transit service and transit career opportunities, a press release states.

BART General Manager Bob Powers will be at the happy hour event on Friday. | Source: Paul Kuroda for The Standard

BART General Manager Bob Powers and County Connection General Manager Bill Churchill will ride together from 19th Street Station on BART's Red Line to Millbrae at 2:57 p.m. and transfer to Caltrain at 4:02 p.m.

SamTrans CEO April Chan will ride the El Camino Real (ECR) bus leaving San Carlos Avenue and El Camino Street at 4 p.m.

Caltrain Executive Director Michelle Bouchard will ride Caltrain #410 leaving San Carlos Station at 4:48 p.m.

Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority CEO Carolyn Gonot will ride the VTA Blue Line from River Oaks Station leaving at 3:45 p.m., changing trains at the Baypointe Station to the 4 p.m. Orange Line to Mountain View before boarding Caltrain #309 departing Mountain View at 4:40 p.m.

BART Ridership Climbing?

Passengers ride a packed SFO bound train in Oakland on Tuesday, September 12, 2023. Recently, a mysterious odor is annoying commuters on San Francisco-bound trains.
Passengers ride a packed SFO-bound train in Oakland on Sept. 12, 2023. A day prior, SFMTA started running shorter BART trains to address issues with low ridership and safety. | Source: RJ Mickelson/The Standard

BART announced its highest ridership totals since the pandemic on Wednesday.

San Francisco's Dreamforce 2023 at the Moscone Center on Sept. 12 and 13 was the best days for ridership since the pandemic, posting 192,081 and 192,961 riders, for an estimated total of 45% of pre-pandemic ridership.

August's BART ridership was 42% of pre-Covid numbers, with a total monthly ridership of 4.5 million.

BART recently shifted to running shorter trains to boost network safety, but riders have not been shy about voicing their feelings about their experiences in recent weeks.

Additional changes lie ahead for the system, with preparations for new fare gates to debut in the summer of 2025, with initial installation at the West Oakland station by December, as well as credit-card payment systems next year.

George Kelly can be reached at