BART trims late-night Transbay buses

BART’s board of directors voted Thursday¬†to keep extra late-night buses going across the Bay Bridge for another year, but one of the routes will likely be nixed next month.

When BART introduced a pilot partnership with AC Transit last year, it added a third late-night transbay bus route that ended at BART’s Pittsburg/Bay Point station. But the sparsely-used bus route has proven too costly to maintain and will likely be discontinued when the contract expires next month.

The pilot project started last December and is slated to continue through Dec. 6.

It added extra trips to the existing 800 and 801 AC Transit bus lines to Richmond and Bay Fair so they run every 20 minutes on Friday and Saturday nights. The program also included a new line, 822, that went from San Francisco to Rockridge, Walnut Creek, Pleasant Hill and Pittsburg/Bay Point.

But while the 800 and 801 lines have together had about 3,000 riders per weekend, the 822 line has had only 50-75 riders, most of whom get off in downtown Oakland. Only a few people take the bus to destinations in Contra Costa County, costing BART about $200 per trip to operate the service.

AC Transit, contracted to operate the service, doesn’t even normally operate in that area of Contra Costa County, making maintaining the service logistically difficult.

The Board of Directors voted 8-1 today to continue the expanded service for the 800 and 801 lines but not for 822. Only board member Zakhary Mallett voted against the motion.

BART will conduct a survey of people traveling to those areas and look into options to provide late night bus service for them, but for now, it appears their late nights in San Francisco are numbered.