BART train at Fruitvale Station
photo CC SA-NC-BY Our Oakland

Website
http://www.bart.gov has schedules, routes, fares and more

BART stands for Bay Area Rapid Transit and is a high-speed rail system with 44 stations. It travels through Oakland, from four stations in the East Bay: Richmond, Pittsburg/Bay Point, Dublin/Pleasanton, and Fremont. It ends at Millbrae on the peninsula.

BART connects with Caltrain in Millbrae and with Amtrak in Richmond. It makes a stop at SFO and there is a shuttle from the Coliseum station to the Oakland International Airport. The four northernmost San Francisco BART stations are also Muni Metro stations. To connect with Amtrak, riders can take either the Richmond-Millbrae line or connect to the Richmond-Fremont line at Oakland City Center/12th Street in Oakland when direct trains are not available. There is no direct Richmond train on Sundays and in the evening.

Bikes

Bikes are allowed on trains subject to a few restrictions. You are never allowed to bring a bike onto the first car of a train nor any crowded car. During commute hours, (7-9 am and 4:30-6:30 pm), bikes are not allowed on the first three cars of a train.

BART policy forbids taking bikes onto escalators, and the 16th Street station has a bike ramp along the edge of stairs in the southwest corner of 16th and Mission.

More details on bike rules can be found on BART's website, here.

PROTIP: you can wedge your front wheel securely in the space marked for handicapped use by turning the wheel all the way to the left and leaning your bike against the train wall. Your bike will stay completely secure even with all the train acceleration and it's easy to release at your stop!

If you're heading into the city from Oakland during morning rush hour, you might have a hard time having enough room on the BART for you and your bike if you're entering at 19th St., 12th St., and West Oakland (the most difficult because it's the last stop before SF). Even if you wedge yourself in there (usually totally doable), you might get nasty looks.

If you're heading to the East Bay from SF during evening rush hours, you will typically be fine finding room for your bike if you enter from any stop except Embarcadero, where you will have a hard time or be unable to find any room.

Bathrooms

Bathrooms in underground stations in San Francisco, Oakland, and Berkeley have signs that say something to the effect of, "Due to terrorism concerns, you cannot use the toilet." i.e. BART is too cheap to maintain the downtown bathrooms or they are getting vandalized too much. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2007/07/16/MNG9TR15PL1.DTL

September 2009 changes

Several changes were implemented to BART service on January 1, 2008 and these changes were eliminated in September 2009. BART trains now run less frequently every weekday after 7 pm and all of Sunday.

Dublin/Pleasanton-Daly City

This line ends at Daly City and no longer goes to San Francisco International Airport.

Richmond-Millbrae

The Richmond-Millbrae line now provides direct access from Amtrak in Richmond to Caltrain in Millbrae. Service is limited to weekdays before 7pm, and now starts around 4 am instead of 5 am. On weekends and evenings, this line goes from Richmond to Daly City.

Pittsburg/Bay Point-SFO, Millbrae

Like the Richmond-Millbrae line, the Pittsburg/Bay Point-SFO line used to stop at Daly City. Now it travels to SFO, with the earliest train arriving at the airport at 5:15 am instead of 5:31 am. The line also goes to Millbrae after 7pm and on weekends.

Another change implemented to BART service was a fare increase. Fares within San Francisco raised from $1.50 to $1.75. The most expensive trip, which is between Pittsburg/Bay Point and Millbrae, now costs $7.05 instead of $6.60. BART's reasoning for increasing these fares is based on inflation.

Fares

BART's fares are loosely based on the total distance traveled within the system. Passengers can ride in between any of the eight San Francisco stations for no charge with a Fast Pass, which costs $72 a month. Individual BART tickets can't be combined, but any ticket can be added to at either a fare machine or an add-value machine. However small value tickets can be collected and exchanged for a single ticket equal to the value of the collected tickets. Alternatively, tickets with small amounts of change remaining can also be donated to local charities via the Tiny Tickets Program.

Stations

The BART system (CC-BY Trucy Phan)BART's Oakland stations, from north to south are below:

BART's San Francisco stations, from north to south are below:

Peninsula BART stations, from north to south, are in:

East Bay BART stations include:

  • Oakland City Center/12th Street
  • 19th Street/Oakland
  • West Oakland
  • MacArthur
  • Ashby
  • Downtown Berkeley
  • North Berkeley
  • El Cerrito Plaza
  • El Cerrito del Norte
  • Richmond
  • Rockridge
  • Orinda
  • Lafayette
  • Walnut Creek
  • Pleasant Hill/Contra Costa Centre
  • Concord
  • North Concord/Martinez
  • Pittsburg/Bay Point
  • Lake Merritt
  • Fruitvale
  • Coliseum/Oakland Airport
  • San Leandro
  • Bay Fair
  • Castro Valley
  • Dublin/Pleasanton
  • West Dublin/Pleasanton (Opened February 2011)
  • Hayward
  • South Hayward
  • Union City
  • Fremont

myBART

BART launched the myBART program in 2007 as an interactive resource providing passengers with additional BART information, such as a calendar of free events near stations, as well as discounts on things such as admission to other events, and contests to win BART tickets. Unlike bart.gov, myBART's site is written in a humorous, youthful tone — possibly intended to give the service a more approachable demeanor.

BART of tomorrow

In November 2007, BART announced that six of its stations will get Peet's Coffee shops. However, eating and drinking in trains and stations is still banned.

In February 2008 a trial to offer Wi-Fi on trains was started.

Tickets

Trivia: The hole in the Bart ticket is to let vision impaired people know which way to insert their ticket into the fare gate.

If you'd like to exercise your First Amendment right to free speech on BART, make sure you obtain a Free Speech Permit.

Need help finding your way around? Directions can help you.

Ticket Refunds

You may claim refunds for the following reasons:

  • A damaged ticket that can be verified by the ticket reader
  • Blue tickets with more than $2.00 remaining on it
  • Malfunction of ticket vendor, ticket gate, or the Addfare machine
  • Unused para-transit ticket books

You may NOT claim a refund for the following:

  • The last ride is not refundable.
  • Tickets purchased with Commuter Checks are not refundable.
  • Red and Green discount tickets are not eligible for a refund, however you can get a replacement ticket for tickets with accumulated value

Replacement Tickets:

  • When you accumulate $10.00 worth of Blue tickets or have $24.00 worth of Red or Green discount tickets, mail them to BART Treasury for a replacement ticket.
  • BART's Treasury Department issues replacement tickets in exchange for tickets with iti-biti tiny residual values. Y'know, all those 5 and 10 cent BART cards that are filling your wallet or purse...

Refund Requests:

Station Agents will help you process a ticket refund request, or mail your ticket with reason for the refund to:

   Refunds, BART Treasury Department
   P.O. Box 12688
   Oakland, CA 94604-2688

BART's Treasury Department will process your refund or issue you a replacement ticket within 10 working days.

Questions? Call (510) 464-6841.

 

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