Starting on Monday, BART riders will see changes in the weekday and Sunday schedules as contractors start work on the transit agency's $300 million-plus seismic retrofit of the Transbay Tube.
BART said it will begin service at around 5 a.m. weekdays, an hour later than usual, for the duration of the project -- which is expected to last at least 3-1/2 years.
That means the first blue line train from the Tri-Valley toward San Francisco on weekday mornings will depart from the Dublin-Pleasanton Station at 4:58 a.m. and stop at West Dublin-Pleasanton at 5:01 a.m. All early morning trains will be long, with the first East Bay train arriving at Embarcadero Station at 5:35 a.m., according to BART.
For those San Ramon Valley residents who depart from Walnut Creek Station instead, the first yellow line train of the morning will leave Walnut Creek toward San Francisco or Oakland at 5:06 a.m.
BART officials estimate that about 2,900 riders enter the BART system during that original first hour on weekdays.
To help fill the service gap, the agency has created an Early Bird Express bus program to carry riders to many of the BART stops, in both directions, between 3:50-5:30 a.m.
So early commuters can take an AC Transit bus from Dublin-Pleasanton to the temporary Transbay Terminal at 4:14 a.m., 4:27 a.m. or 4:42 a.m. for $5.50 one-way, and then transfer from there to other transit in San Francisco.
For morning commuters toward Oakland, a Wheels bus (for $2) will leave Dublin-Pleasanton at 3:54 a.m. and 4:26 a.m. and travel to Bay Fair, where riders can then transfer to other transit to reach destinations in Oakland and beyond.
Commuters who go from Walnut Creek can catch a early bird County Connection bus (for $2) at 4:43 a.m. to Lafayette and transfer from there to other transit into Oakland or San Francisco.
Early Bird Express buses will not stop at West Dublin-Pleasanton.
The Transbay Tube retrofit project, which BART deems vital to prepare for the possibility of a major earthquake, involves the installation of a new pumping system and better internal liners to deal with the flooding anticipated with a significant seismic event as part of a $313 million contract awarded to Shimmick Construction and California Engineering Contractors Inc.
In other service changes for the project, BART will single-track trains through the tube on weeknights. Additional trains will be added to the schedule after 8 p.m. on Fridays on the green, red and yellow lines.
BART also will be upgrading the electrical power system in downtown San Francisco on some Sundays. During these times, only the yellow line will provide service through the Transbay Tube, with the exception of some direct red and green line trains at select times. Service changes will vary from week to week.
More information on the changes and further impacts can be found on Trip Planner at bart.gov, on the BART app or by visiting www.bart.gov/schedules/early-bird-express. BART officials remind riders to check the schedule before heading out.