You’ve probably already heard, but just in case you hadn’t, BART will revert to its pre-2008 headways starting Monday, September 14. The longstanding dream of 15-minute off-peak headways — that sweet spot where more riders are willing to head to a station spontaneously, and use the system like a true metro service — lasted less than two years, and trains will once more run every 20 minutes on weeknights and weekends. This service cut has been implemented as one measure to help close BART’s $310 million budget deficit over the next four years.
At the same time, BART will indulge in one of its favorite traditions since 2003: the seemingly endless rearranging of service for the Peninsula stations and the “Quentin L. Kopp Wye.” On weeknights after 7:00 p.m., and all day on weekends, only the Pittsburg/Bay Point line will serve stations south of Daly City; the line will stop at the Airport before terminating at Millbrae. Weekdays, the Richmond line will continue to terminate at Millbrae, and the Pittsburg/Bay Point line will continue to terminate at SFO. The Dublin/Pleasanton line will now always terminate at Daly City. Under this configuration, the routing of the three lines that terminate at Richmond or Fremont will remain the same as they are now, even off-peak.
This map depicts the service changes on the Peninsula:
San Mateo County service beginning September 14, 2009. Courtesy of BART.
Side remark for transit cartography enthusiasts: This map is different from the usual style, but it is official; BART has been tinkering with alternative system maps. The above image is excerpted from a file documenting the new schedules starting September 14 (PDF). But there is also a full version of the map, which includes other Bay Area rail lines, a separate diagram depicting three-line evening/Sunday service, as well as popular destinations served by BART. A sample of the full map has been on display at the west side of Montgomery Station.