As previously reported, BART has been taking a good look at their weekend hours and how they might better serve passengers. They’ve been studying a $1.2 million plan that could shift Friday’s last departing train from SF from 12:30am to 1:30am and move the first train of Saturday morning from 6am to 7am.
Though many rejoiced at the plan, that celebration might have been premature: The Chron reports that the results are in from those studies, and they’re not that great. Thanks to a federally required civil rights study, it has been shown that the plan “would have a disproportionately high and adverse impact on minority and low-income riders.”
The Chron reports that “more minorities – 68 percent compared with 56 percent of all passengers – rode the first Saturday trains than the last Friday trains, as did more low-income riders – 53 to 49 percent.” In other words, the people most hurt by a later Saturday start are BART’s non-white or least wealthy riders.
Though there is a strong passenger contingency (and facebook page) behind BART operating 24 hours, officials say that the five hour gap between trains is necessary to help maintain the 38-year-old system.
BART will consider whether or not to proceed with the pilot program at its next meeting this Thursday. If they want to continue, the board will have to demonstrate that the benefits of the change are worth the impact it has on the riders losing service, or to come up with an alternate plan to keep their minority and low income riders from being affected.