East Bay

The New Year is Here! Bay Area Rings in 2017

The new year is here, and people across the Bay Area bundled up to usher in a fresh start after a tumultuous 365-day period.

Thousands of eager folks turned out along the Embarcadero waterfront and celebrated the start of 2017 by watching the annual fireworks display near the Ferry Building and the Bay Bridge.

"It's just a lot of energy," Tim Patel from Pleasanton said. "We love it. It's amazing."

The police department increased security to ensure the crowd’s safety. Officers, in uniform and in plain clothes, stepped up enforcement and were on the lookout for drunk drivers.

"If you drink, stay in the restaurant or the bar," said police spokesman Officer Carlos Manfredi. "Don’t take drinks out onto the street. It will be confiscated by us and you will face a citation."

Officer said there are no known terror threats, especially in the wake of the deadly attack in Turkey, but reminded people to alert someone if they notice anything suspicious or unusual.

Also hoping to dissuade New Year's revelers from driving drunk, public transit agencies announced longer hours and sometimes free service.

People all over the Bay Area are preparing to say good bye to 2016. Ringing in the New Year is big business and tens of thousands of people are expected to head to San Francisco. Jean Elle reports.

Caltrain and BART ran special train schedules into and out of San Francisco on New Year's Eve to encourage people to leave their cars at home.

Caltrain provided free rides starting at 8 p.m. Saturday and will run extra southbound trains from San Francisco later in the night in order to accommodate holiday passengers.

Extra trains will depart the San Francisco Caltrain station every half hour starting at 12:45 a.m. and ending with the final train at 2:15 a.m., which is expected to be very crowded, according to the transit agency.

Earlier Caltrain service on New Year's Eve operated on a regular Saturday schedule and on New Year's Day, trains will run on a Sunday schedule.

BART ran a standard Saturday service on New Year's Eve until 8 p.m., after which it will operate on a special service schedule until 3 a.m., according to BART officials.

Trains will run every 20 minutes after midnight, with extra trains standing by in downtown San Francisco after the fireworks show.

Most of the Bay Area’s buses, trains and other transportation agencies have an expanded schedule for New Year’s Eve. Pete Suratos reports.

SamTrans and Alameda-Contra Costa Transit are also providing free rides on all bus lines from 8 p.m. on New Year's Eve to 5 a.m. New Year's Day, according to the transit agencies.

For those celebrating at home, officials penned a stern warning: do not shoot off illegal fireworks or pyrotechnics of the "safe and sane" variety. Both types have the potential to hurt others and spark fires.

Copyright BAYCN - Bay City News
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