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Your New Year's Eve Bay Area Transportation Guide

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Some transit agencies are offering free rides and extended operations on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.  (Christopher Michel/Flickr)

If your New Year's resolution is to drive less, or if you're still looking for a designated driver to help you celebrate New Year's Eve, transportation services around the Bay Area are hoping to help you out.

Muni, Caltrain and AC Transit are just a few transportation options offering free rides and extended operations on New Year's Eve to carry celebrants into the wee hours of the new year.

Here's a breakdown of Bay Area transportation options to take you around San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and the East Bay this New Year's Eve.

BART: While BART is not offering free rides, extended service will be offered until approximately 3 a.m. Friday. Extra trains will be prepared for crowds after the fireworks show at the Embarcadero and will run every 20 minutes.

"One of the most exciting things that San Franciscans and Bay Area residents get to do every year is go down and enjoy the fireworks at Embarcadero, so we want to be able to provide that service," said BART spokesman Taylor Huckaby.


For those heading into the city after 8 p.m and those leaving the city after midnight, BART will begin utilizing "skip-stop" service in and out of the city. Some lines will skip Embarcadero, Montgomery and West Oakland stations to ease the crowds at the most popular platforms.

BART will operate on a Sunday/holiday schedule on New Year's Day, with service beginning at 8 a.m.

FuncheapSF recommends buying round-trip tickets and loading Clipper cards in advance to avoid long lines.

Caltrain: Caltrain will begin offering free rides at 8 p.m. Thursday until 5 a.m. Friday. An extra four trains will leave from the San Francisco station after the midnight fireworks show at the Embarcadero. Trains will operate on a Sunday/holiday schedule on New Year's Day.

Lyft and Uber:  Lyft prices are capped at 200 percent this New Year's Eve, one of its most competitive business days of the year.

Uber is also taking part in surge pricing. Uber suggests using the service early or catching a ride after midnight to avoid high fares.

On New Year's Eve last year, some Uber rides cost as much as $100. Lyft set a "prime-time limit" at a controversial 400 percent. You can decide if 200 percent is a steal.

San Francisco

Muni: You can hop on any Muni bus for free starting at 8 p.m. on Thursday through 5 a.m. on Friday.

There will also be extended service until 4 a.m. on Muni Metro lines between West Portal and Embarcadero stations. Service will run until 2:15 a.m. to Fourth and King streets.

Extra Owl route service will be offered from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. on New Year's Day.

Clipper cards, Muni Mobile passes and Metro fares will not be necessary on Muni buses during free service hours. SFMTA asks that passengers do not tag their Clipper cards during free service hours. If tagged, cards will be charged. Muni Metro fare gates will be set to allow free access.

Cab: Luxor Cabs in partnership with Berg Injury Lawyers' Safe and Sober Free Cab Ride Home Program is offering free cab rides home from 10 p.m. on Thursday through 4 a.m. Friday.

Riders must be picked up at a restaurant, hotel or bar and dropped off to a residency to qualify for a free ride. Free rides do not count if the cab is hailed from the street. Each ride is limited to $35.

For a free cab, you can arrange a ride with Luxor Cab by calling (415) 282-4141. Patrons can tell the driver to send the taxi receipt to Berg Injury Lawyers. Berg Injury encourages riders to tip their taxi drivers.

Alameda-Contra Consta County

AC Transit: Free rides will be offered on all AC Transit lines from 8 p.m. Thursday until 5 a.m. Friday.

"We want people to be safe and we care about our community," said Michele Joseph, director of marketing and communications at AC Transit. "We care about our customers. And it's really important for everybody to realize the implication of driving while intoxicated."

All Nighter service will be available to those traveling after midnight.

Oakland’s Free B Shuttle bus will be running on New Year’s Eve every 10-15 minutes from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Oakland’s Free B Shuttle bus will be running on New Year’s Eve every 10-15 minutes from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. (City of Oakland's Economic & Workforce Development Department)

Broadway Shuttle: The green bus taking passengers along Broadway from Jack London Square to 27th Street in Oakland will offer free rides from 7 a.m. on Thursday to 1 a.m. Friday every 10 to 15 minutes.

San Mateo County

SamTrans: Free rides on SamTrans buses begin at 8 p.m. Thursday until 5 a.m. Friday. Buses will operate on a Sunday schedule on New Year's Day.

Redi-Wheels: The district's paratransit service will offer free rides starting at 8 p.m. Thursday.

Santa Clara County

VTA: Santa Clara County's Valley Transportation Authority is offering free rides from 8 p.m. Thursday until 5 a.m. Friday. Extended service will be offered for the Mountain View-Winchester and Alum Rock-Santa Teresa light-rail lines.

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