‘AllNighter’ campaign targets transit night owls


A new transportation campaign targeting the Bay Area’s night owls, late-night workers and early morning commuters launched on Friday.

The multilingual campaign, known as the “AllNighter,” means to inform residents and regional workers on the options available to them during the late-night and early morning hours. Ads are scheduled to appear on cable TV, social media and buses, as well as in Muni and BART stations, through the summer of 2017.

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee said in a statement that it’s important to have a 24-hour regional transportation network to serve commuters, especially those who work outside conventional hours:

“There is a significant workforce that doesn’t keep the traditional 9 a.m.-5 p.m. hours, and they are vital to the everyday operations and economic well-being of the San Francisco Bay Area region.”

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission will fund the $200,000 campaign, which is supported by regional transportation agencies and the San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development.

The nighttime economy produces $50 million annually in tax revenue with 52,000 workers employed in industries such as nightlife, hotels and hospitals, according to the Office of Economic and Workforce Development.

A 2015 report by the Late Night Transportation Working Group recommended options to improve late-night transportation in the Bay Area, which included establishing a multi-language campaign to inform riders which transit options are available to them.

The group also recommended a website dedicated to late-night transportation options that would be easily accessible on mobile phones.

Supervisor Scott Wiener formed the group after a 2o14 hearing on the lack of transportation options during the late evening and early morning hours.

Merchants from the nightlife industry, representatives from regional transit agencies and other city departments are members of the working group, which have met eight times since forming in 2014. The next meeting is on Aug. 24.

Karen Heisler, owner of Mission Pie bakery and a member of the working group, said in a statement that workers who travel further away for work because of affordability issues in cities need a late-night transit system that works for them:

“The Bay Area lacks a unifying transportation system that is specifically designed to ensure that people of all classes and sectors are able to get to their jobs at all hours without disproportionate financial burden on those least able to shoulder it.”

SFMTA Director of Transportation Ed Reiskin said in a statement that whether commuters use Muni for work or leisure, people rely on regional transit systems to not just get around during the day, but also at night:

“The new late night Muni Owl routes and service increases are examples of the overall improvements we are making to adapt to the needs of Muni riders in a growing economy and city population.”

Transit officials launched two Owl routes on the 44-O’Shaughnessy and 48-Quintara/24th Street in April, which was part of a larger Muni service increase.

The 511 SF Bay website has a dedicated website to find out what transit options are available between midnight and 5 a.m for the San Francisco, the East Bay and the Peninsula regions.

Jerold Chinn
Jerold Chinn is the San Francisco Bureau Chief of SFBay and covers transportation and City Hall. He has spent a decade covering transportation in San Francisco. Jerold is a San Francisco native and frequently takes public transit everywhere he goes. Follow Jerold on Twitter @jerold_chinn. Email tips to

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