TREASURE ISLAND, CA — A new bus service connecting most BART stations during the late-night hours when BART trains don't run, was officially launched on Tuesday, March 21, 2006. Called the All Nighter, the service is a convenient new option for those who work the late shift or go to social events that run past midnight, when BART closes. The service is operated by AC Transit, Muni, SamTrans, County Connection, and Wheels, all of which have created a coordinated network with timed transfers between their new and existing routes, and new half-hourly weekend service from downtown San Francisco to stations along the Richmond and Fremont BART lines. The All Nighter is funded by Regional Measure 2, the 2004 voter-approved one-dollar bridge toll increase to support transit.
"Before the All Nighter, people would either drive, causing more evening traffic congestion and late-night accidents, or ride BART and keep a constant eye on the clock, making sure not to miss the midnight train," said Stuart Cohen of the Transportation and Land Use Coalition, which first proposed the service in 2001. "By offering round-the-clock service, the All Nighter opens up new transit possibilities for those who work the night-shift or stay out late."
New service and coordinated schedules integrate the region's late-night bus service
To better serve passengers, close transit gaps, and offer convenient transfers, several of the participating transit agencies operate All Nighter service that crosses into each other's territories. The 800 route marks the first time that AC Transit has operated in downtown San Francisco beyond the Transbay Terminal. The transit agency received permission from the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to operate on Market Street in order to offer passengers convenient stops at downtown San Francisco BART stations.
New service in the East Bay also offers passengers new transit connections after midnight that cross transit district boundaries. For example, before the All Nighter 820 route existed there was no late-night transit service connecting central Contra Costa County with communities west of the hills. Likewise, the 810 route now connects the Tri-Valley communities of Livermore, Dublin, and Pleasanton to the Bay Fair BART station, with timed transfers to other parts of the All Nighter network.
All Nighter benefits those who work, or seek, night-shift jobs
For those who depend on transit to get to work, the All Nighter opens up a wider territory in which to seek employment. Prior to the All Nighter, job-seekers without a car in the Tri-Valley and in central Contra Costa County did not have an option to travel over the Dublin grade or through the Caldecott Tunnel, and were restricted to a smaller area in their search for employment.
"This service will give our members a new option for getting to and from their night-shift job if their car breaks down or their carpool falls through," said Mike Casey, president of UNITE/HERE Local 2, which represents 12,000 workers in the hospitality industries of San Francisco and San Mateo counties. "And our members who don't drive will now be able to take a night-shift job if they wish, whereas before their options were more limited."
All Nighter benefits those who stay out late
New half-hourly weekend service on the 800 route from San Francisco to the East Bay is good news for those enjoying a late night out. Over 75 late-night venues are within a 15-minute walk of the San Francisco portion of the 800 route. These include: concert venues and movie theaters with shows that often end after midnight; late-night restaurants; and night clubs, dance clubs and bars that stay open long beyond BART's closing time.
All Nighter provides a safe alternative to late-night driving
The All Nighter also offers a safe alternative to driving during late-night hours, the period when there is a peak in drowsy-driving and alcohol-related crashes. According to a government report, drowsy-driving crashes occur predominantly after midnight. Similarly, in the four counties within the All Nighter network, the percentage of traffic fatalities involving alcohol increases dramatically during late-night hours: 20% by day versus 82% from midnight to 5 a.m.
"The All Nighter gives people who are tired or who have been drinking an alternative to getting into their car and endangering their life and the lives of others," said Sergeant Wayne Ziese, Public Affairs Officer of the California Highway Patrol Golden Gate Division.
BART's role in the All Nighter, and how to learn more
BART is providing ancillary support for the All Nighter, but does not have a formal role in operating or managing the service. The agency recently released a statement in support of the service.
Detailed information about the All Nighter service, including a map, can be accessed by visiting 511.org. Information is also available by calling 511 and saying "All Nighter."