fireworks.jpgTransit agencies across the Bay Area are offering New Year’s Eve revelers free rides and extended service to help them celebrate without having get behind the wheel.

For the 11th consecutive year, free transportation will be available on all San Francisco Municipal Railway trains and buses between 8 p.m. on New Year’s Eve and 6 a.m. on New Year’s Day.

Muni will also extend metro service between the Embarcadero and West Portal stations until 4 a.m., and will run extra buses on the Muni Owl lines between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m.

The SFMTA is reminding those who decide to drive to expect delays due to the city-sponsored fireworks show near the Ferry Building on the Embarcadero.

For those looking to leave the city after New Year’s Eve celebrations, Caltrain service will be free after 11 p.m. Friday, and four extra southbound trains will be added after midnight to accommodate holiday travelers.

The extra trains will depart the San Francisco station at Fourth and King streets at 12:45 a.m., 1:15 a.m., 1:45 a.m. and 2:15 a.m.

SamTrans buses will be free from 11 p.m. Friday to 2 a.m. Saturday. Redi-Wheels and RediCoast, the San Mateo County Transit District’s paratransit services, will also be offering free rides during those same hours.

The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority will offer free service on all its buses and light rail trains from 7 p.m. Friday until 4 a.m. Saturday.

The VTA recommends that passengers plan their routes in advance, as some lines will be running on regular weekday schedules with others offering extended hours.

BART will provide extra trains and extra police officers. Stations will remain open until about 3 a.m. Saturday.

BART is alerting riders that certain trains heading out of San Francisco will skip some downtown stations to prevent overcrowding.

For those who decide to drive on New Year’s Eve and find themselves too intoxicated to drive home, AAA Northern California is offering free one-way rides for drivers and passengers as well as free one-way tows for the driver’s car.

Being a member of AAA is not a requirement to take advantage of the “Tipsy Tow” service, AAA spokesman Matt Skryja said.

Anyone needing a ride or a tow can call (800) 222-4357 (AAA-HELP) and tell the operator “I need a Tipsy Tow,” and a tow truck will be sent out.

AAA is offering its Tipsy Tow service from 6 p.m. on New Year’s Eve to 6 a.m. on New Year’s Day.

Chris Cooney, Bay City News

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  • Matt Baume

    ASK THE APPEAL: Do you need to own a car to use the Tipsy Tow, or can I call and get me and my bike carted home?

  • Matt Baume

    ASK THE APPEAL: Do you need to own a car to use the Tipsy Tow, or can I call and get me and my bike carted home?

  • Eve Batey

    You must have a car! I believe the assumption is that in many cases, cars cannot be left somewhere overnight, or risk towing.

    My understanding is that many cabs allow one to cart one’s bike. I know that one cab company’s offering free rides NYE, I have followed up with them to see what plans they have to accommodate cyclists. I’ll let you know about that!

    Another option for impaired cyclists to ride a bike rack equipped Muni line, of course. Since the light rail doesn’t take bikes, I’d either wait to head home after the light rail are replaced by buses (usually around 1 AM), almost all of the Owl lines are equipped with bike racks.

  • Eve Batey

    You must have a car! I believe the assumption is that in many cases, cars cannot be left somewhere overnight, or risk towing.

    My understanding is that many cabs allow one to cart one’s bike. I know that one cab company’s offering free rides NYE, I have followed up with them to see what plans they have to accommodate cyclists. I’ll let you know about that!

    Another option for impaired cyclists to ride a bike rack equipped Muni line, of course. Since the light rail doesn’t take bikes, I’d either wait to head home after the light rail are replaced by buses (usually around 1 AM), almost all of the Owl lines are equipped with bike racks.

  • Matt Baume

    Muni! What on Earth is that?

  • Matt Baume

    Muni! What on Earth is that?