By Alex Eisenhart   |   @AlexOnTransit

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

As Bay Area residents celebrated the start of the New Year with fireworks in San Francisco, Caltrain and SamTrans offered a safe and affordable method of transportation for late night revelers. In addition to extra pre- and post-event train service to/from the City, Caltrain and SamTrans offered free fares for all riders after 8 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. This has become an annual practice in an effort to curb drunk driving while also offering the public an affordable method of getting home on one of the most expensive rideshare price surge nights of the year.

This year, riders confirmed the need for this free offering. On the night of December 31, 2018, Caltrain ridership was up 11 percent with SamTrans also having increased by nearly 14 percent compared to New Year’s Eve the previous year. The importance of free transit on New Year’s Eve was echoed by riders, law enforcement and news outlets on social media. We thank all who helped spread the word about this free, life-saving service. To learn more about special event and holiday service throughout the year, visit


Alex Eisenhart is a Public Affairs Specialist with the San Mateo County Transit District’s Communications Department.

Leave a Reply