Holiday revelers will find it easier to get around New Year's Eve with BART stations staying open three hours later, and transit operators in Santa Clara and San Francisco counties offering free bus and light rail service at night.
Bay Area Rapid Transit District stations will stay open until 3 a.m. Sunday to accommodate big crowds shuttling in and out of San Francisco for a midnight fireworks show visible from the Embarcadero. BART stations normally close at midnight.
BART spokesman Jim Allison suggests that to avoid delays, train riders buy round-trip tickets in advance or carry a Clipper transit payment card with enough fare value for a round trip.
To ease overcrowding, BART also is tinkering with stopping points for trains at two San Francisco stations.
After 8 p.m. Saturday, westbound BART trains into San Francisco will stop at either the Embarcadero or Montgomery Street stations -- but not both.
After the midnight fireworks show, riders returning home on the Pittsburg-Bay Point and Richmond lines need to board at the Montgomery Street station as trains on those lines will skip the Embarcadero station.
Riders traveling home on the Dublin-Pleasanton and Fremont lines need to board at the Embarcadero station.
After the fireworks show, riders returning home to destinations on the Peninsula are urged to board at the Montgomery Street station.
AC Transit will offer regular Saturday night service at regular fares on New Year's Eve.
In Santa Clara County, bus and light-rail service by the Valley Transportation Authority will be free from 7 p.m. Saturday until 3:59 a.m. Sunday.
San Francisco Muni also is waiving fares from 8 p.m. Saturday until 6 a.m. Sunday for all services, including the cable cars.
Visit 511.org for information on New Year's holiday weekend transit service.