bay area rapid transit | 511 Contra Costa

North Concord to Antioch BART Access Study – Feedback Wanted (2017)

Do you use the North Concord/Martinez or Pittsburg/Bay Point BART station? Live or work in East County? BART wants your input!
With plans to expand East Contra Costa service in 2018, BART is conducting a study to identify projects to improve access to stations for pedestrians, bikes, vehicles and transit. They’ve drafted a preliminary document identifying barriers and proposing improvements, and now they want to hear from you!
For more information or to submit feedback, visit the North Concord to Antioch BART Study webpage.

New BART Schedule Underway: Aims to Provide Crowding Relief (Sept. 2015)

Monday, September 14, was the first day for BART’s new train schedule, designed to provide crowding relief while the Bay waits for the Fleet of the Future to arrive.  The number of cars scheduled to be in service during the rush hours will be at a record high, with additional improvements provided during non-peak hours.
bartlogoService Improvement Highlights

  • Rush hour trains added to Pittsburg/Bay Point to SFO line
  • Richmond to Millbrae line direct weekday service extended to 9pm
  • Train cars added during rush hours to all other transbay routes
  • The elimination of the three car train
  • More show-up-and-go service for BART to OAK

Pittsburg/Bay Point Line
All rush hour Pittsburg/Bay Point- San Francisco International Airport (SFO) line trains, which operate end-to-end, will be lengthened to the maximum length of 10 cars. These transbay trains also serve riders transferring from the Richmond Line in Oakland.
BART will keep trains long for an additional 15 minutes during weekday mornings on the Pittsburg/Bay Point line to accommodate the increase in riders travelling later in the morning.
Richmond-Millbrae Line
Richmond-Millbrae service will be extended by one hour on weekday evenings, meaning an extra hour of direct service.  The last train will depart Millbrae for Richmond at 9:01pm and Embarcadero at 9:33pm.
Richmond-Fremont Line
All three-car trains will be lengthened to four cars on the Richmond/Fremont line during all non-commute times, marking the end of the three-car train at BART.
For more information, read the full story on

Vintage 1976 BART Map

BART. The world’s most sophisticated rapid transit? Bay Area map maker and enthusiast Eric Fischer recently uploaded this 1976 BART brochure touting how its 2,000 employees care about its passengers.

Over, Under, and Around San Francisco (1976)
(Click to enlarge)

The brochure text is reads:

“BART invites you to join us on the  world’s most sophisticated rapid transit. BART is a space age transit system with over 2,000 people who care about you and it’s the most convenient way to get over, around, and under the Bay Area in minutes.”

The brochure goes on to describe how to access BART and the cost of parking at BART stations (which was free with the exception of the Lake Merritt Station, which would set you back 25 cents per day). Another interesting detail that emerges is in the text the portion about bikes on BART. While all bike restrictions have now been lifted, when the system opened you needed a temporary permit from a station agent to bring your bike on-board during certain hours.

Be sure to check out some of our other posts highlighting the early days of BART, plans that never happened, and what lies ahead.

(For all BART related posts, click on our “BART” tag.)

Getting around the Bay Area during the BART Strike (2013)

Commuters wait in traffic near the Bay Bridge during the first day of the 2013 BART Strike

Image credit: Lorraine Blanco

The last BART strike occurred in 1997 and lasted 6 days. Here is a list of transportation resources during a continued BART strike.

Getting Around

  • KQED put together a great post of transportation alternatives listed by agency. Options ranging from carpooling, biking, taking the bus, ferries and trains are all covered.
  • If you are driving, visit for traffic information.
  • Visit for information getting to and from SFO and OAK.
  • Check out Avego’s busses and vans traveling to SF.
  • Consider using these carsharing services in the Bay Area, including Zipcar and RelayRides.
  • Consider using peer-to-peer taxi services such as Sidecar, Lyft and uberX (some services are SF and/or East Bay only).
  • Consider working from home.

Stay Informed


BART to Marin?

Northbound BART train in Marin County leaving Sausalito (February, 1961)
1961, a northbound BART train leaves Sausalito… in rendering form. Image credit: Eric Fischer
A lot of people wish the Bay Area’s widely popular rapid transit system would extend northwest into Marin; it’s a topic that has been discussed among Bay Area commuters and politicians since the 1940’s.
So why hasn’t it happened?  SF.Curbed recently covered the history of  proposals and potential routes to extend BART into Marin, it’s well  worth a read. Trapped in the past among many pieces of fascinating history was the idea to run BART along a lower deck addition to the Golden Gate Bridge.
Golden Gate Bridge: rapid transit below present deck (1961)
Rendering of BART underneath the Golden Gate Bridge. Image credit: Eric Fischer
Will BART ever extend into Marin County? Who knows, but BART is currently in the process of extending into Livermore, 37 years after proposals to do so were originally put forward in 1976. One of the concerns with moving BART into Marin was that it would induce sprawl, but the area has greater environmental protections now than it did in the 1960’s. In the meantime, check out SF.Curbed’s coverage for old renderings of what could have been and continue dreaming of being able to go just about anywhere in the Bay Area by rapid transit.

Avoiding Crowded BART Trains

leaving San Francisco for Oakland on BART, under San Francisco, January 1, 2006
Standing room only on BART. Photo credit: Michael Patrick 
In response to record levels of ridership, BART has unveiled a new feature to its online trip planning – information on the estimated levels of crowding on a train. Now when you use the BART QuickPlanner (also accessible in mobile form) it will show an icon with three heads, two heads or one head indicating “heavy crowding expected,” “moderate crowding expected,” or “light crowding expected,” respectively.
BART Crowding
Note the icon with three heads indicating a crowded train. Image via: BART
The crowding level feature is also intended to provide guidance to bicyclists since even outside commute period blackouts bicyclists are instructed to only board cars that “can comfortably accommodate you and your bicycle,” as outlined in BART’s bike rules.
It should be noted that the crowding level estimates are not real time but based on historic data patterns so it’s still best to use your best judgement when boarding BART with a bike.  However, BART’s web team worked closely with BART’s scheduling department to coordinate the new feature to make sure the feature is as accurate as possible. According to Timothy Moore, BART’s website manager,

 “Although the data is not real time, the historic data we’re using is generally predictive, and customers will be able to see which trips are less crowded than others.”

To read more about this much welcomed feature, head over to BART’s blog or Inside Bay Area.

Seeing One Day in San Francisco Through Transit Activity

San Francisco is full of hustle and bustle. Have you ever wondered what that looks like through the eyes of public transit?
Youtube user SLT Transit put together a time-lapse video of transit activity over a typical day in San Francisco that demonstrates through its mesmerizing patterns how vital public transit is to city’s transportation system. Check out the video below:

Recognize your bus route? Video credit: SLT Transit

Year in Review: 2012


Image credit: David Yu

511CC’s 2012 Year in Review

From the Caldecott Tunnel breakthrough to Bay Area transit agencies celebrating milestones for service, 2012 was a great year for biking, transit and transportation. Here are some of this year’s top stories.

Top Tweets

Some of our most popular tweets (number of link clicks) in 2012 linked to these articles:

BART pedestrian origin outliers
Image credit: Eric Fischer

2012 highlights

Here are some transportation highlights from the year.
511 Freeway Aid


  • LAVTA retrofits 30 Wheels buses to make boarding with strollers easier

Union Pacific from near Pinole, CA facing west

Image credit: Steve C.






Image credit: torbakhopper



Image credit: Karl Nielsen/Metropolitan Transportation Commission



Image credit:  Bay Area Rapid Transit archives


Amtrak's Capitol Corridor

Opening of Municipal Railway, San Francisco

Image credit: SFMTA / John Henry Mentz

For more interesting articles and tips on biking, transit, and transportation in the Bay Area don’t miss our Twitter feed and our blog.