Pleasanton Weekly

News - December 31, 2010

Bay Area transit agencies offering free service tonight

But Tri-Valley's Wheels opts out of special 'deals' for local riders

by Jeb Bing

Transit agencies across the Bay Area--except for the Tri-Valley's Wheels bus service--are offering New Year's Eve revelers free rides and extended service to help them celebrate without having get behind the wheel.

For the 11th consecutive year, free transportation will be available on all San Francisco Municipal Railway trains and buses between 8 p.m. tonight and 6 a.m. on New Year's Day.

Muni will also extend metro service between the Embarcadero and West Portal stations until 4 a.m., and will run extra buses on the Muni Owl lines between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m.

The SFMTA is reminding those who decide to drive to expect delays due to the city-sponsored fireworks show near the Ferry Building on the Embarcadero.

For those looking to leave the city after New Year's Eve celebrations, Caltrain service will be free after 11 p.m. tonight, and four extra southbound trains will be added after midnight to accommodate holiday travelers.

The extra trains will depart the San Francisco station at Fourth and King streets at 12:45 a.m., 1:15 a.m., 1:45 a.m. and 2:15 a.m.

SamTrans buses will be free from 11 p.m. tonight to 2 a.m. tomorrow. Redi-Wheels and RediCoast, the San Mateo County Transit District's paratransit services, will also be offering free rides during those same hours.

The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority will offer free service on all its buses and light rail trains from 7 p.m. tonight until 4 a.m. tomorrow.

The VTA recommends that passengers plan their routes in advance, as some lines will be running on regular weekday schedules with others offering extended hours.

BART will provide extra trains and extra police officers. Stations will remain open until about 3 a.m. tomorrow.

BART is alerting riders that certain trains heading out of San Francisco will skip some downtown stations to prevent overcrowding.

For those who decide to drive on tonight and find themselves too intoxicated to drive home, AAA Northern California is offering free one-way rides for drivers and passengers as well as free one-way tows for the driver's car.

Being a member of AAA is not a requirement to take advantage of the "Tipsy Tow" service, AAA spokesman Matt Skryja said.

Anyone needing a ride or a tow can call (800) 222-4357 (AAA-HELP) and tell the operator "I need a Tipsy Tow," and a tow truck will be sent out.

AAA is offering its Tipsy Tow service from 6 p.m. tonight to 6 a.m. on tomorrow.

But in Pleasanton and the Tri-Valley, Wheels, a service of the Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority (LAVTA) that provides public transportation for the Tri-Valley communities of Pleasanton, Dublin and Livermore, announced only that its buses will run on a reduced-Sunday service level for New Year's Day. Chris Cooney, Bay City News, contributed to this story.

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