Lack of overnight BART service key concern raised in transportation report 

A report released Monday studying how to improve late-night transportation options in San Francisco offers some short-term solutions but says substantial improvements could be decades away.

While steps have already been taken to improve late-night San Francisco Municipal Railway service and Alameda-Contra Costa Transit transbay bus service, a study by the Late Night Transportation Working Group found that the biggest impediment to late-night travelers was the lack of overnight BART service.

BART service, however, must shut down overnight for necessary maintenance work. The working group in its report recommended further study of the challenges to overnight BART service, but recognized that ultimately a second Transbay Tube may be necessary to ever have truly overnight transbay rail service.

A current Metropolitan Transportation Commission study on a second transbay rail crossing and potential Muni improvements is expected to be completed in 2018.

The report was heard in a meeting of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors' land use and economic development committee Monday. BART Director Robert Raburn spoke there and said the agency would take another look at how to reduce maintenance times for expanding late-night service by at least an hour or two.

That might happen once new train cars are phased in over the next few years, he said.

In the meantime, the report points out that while BART and AC Transit have partnered to provide more frequent late-night service, bus service throughout the area, and particularly to the East Bay and Peninsula, remains skeletal at best.

Other short-term measures recommended by the report include expanding the bike sharing service, taking steps to improve safety and reliability of late-night buses, improving taxi dispatching and offering low-income subsidies for taxi service when other transportation options are not available.

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