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Free Rides Available For New Year's Eve Revelers

Planning to party tonight? Let public transit take you there and back.

A few Bay Area public transit agencies will offer free rides on New Year's Eve to encourage people to take trains or buses to festivities around the region.

Rides on the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) will be free from the night of Dec. 31, to the early morning hours of Jan. 1. Caltrain and San Francisco Municipal Railway will also offer free rides.

VTA bus and light-rail service will be free between 7 p.m. and 3:59 a.m., with extended hours offered for its light-rail service and an express bus line that takes customers to the Fremont BART station. Caltrain will offer free train rides as well after 11 p.m. on New Year's Eve from San Francisco until 2:15 a.m. on Jan. 1.

Trips on Muni buses and light-rail vehicles will be complimentary from 8 p.m. on Dec. 31 to 6 a.m. on Jan. 1, agency officials announced.

Because of a city-sponsored fireworks show that starts at midnight on a barge off of The Embarcadero, San Francisco's waterfront will be crowded on New Year's Eve. For people leaving the fireworks show or other festivities in the city, special Muni Metro service will run until 2:15 a.m. between Fourth and King streets and the West Portal Station, and until 4 a.m. between West Portal and the Embarcadero stations. There will also be extra service on Muni's Owl overnight routes, the 5, 14, 22, 24, 38, 90, 91, L and N bus lines.

Trips on BART will not be free, but the agency will provide additional service on New Year's Eve, running trains until 3 a.m. After 8 p.m., to minimize crowding at the two stations closest to the San Francisco fireworks show, certain trains will not stop at the Embarcadero station, and others will not stop at the Montgomery station.

- Bay City News

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