BART Announces Plan to Replace Aging Fleet of Train Cars

Photo: BART train pulls into the station at Berkeley BART and McArthur
Chris McDermut/Staff
BART train pulls into the station at Berkeley BART and McArthur

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BART unveiled a 20-year plan yesterday to replace all of its train cars, which have been in use since the service first opened.

Plans for a project to replace its 669 cars and purchase 31 additional cars is estimated to cost BART $3.4 billion, according to BART Director Bob Franklin.

Luna Salaver, a BART public information officer, said the project is necessary in order for BART-which carries 340,000 people a day-to accommodate the increasing number of passengers.

"They're the same cars that we used when we opened up the system in 1972," she said. "You can imagine the wear and tear that's on these 36-year-old cars."

According to BART's Web site, new rail cars will be required to handle more than 500,000 daily riders.

"You can't imagine cars made in the '70s are going to bring us through the next 30 or 40 years," Salaver said.

Design plans for the new cars include a third door for boarding efficiency, screens for destination announcements and more room for additional passengers, bikes and luggage.

The first phase of the project, which would cost $1 billion, is set to be completed by 2014 and entails the purchase of 200 cars and a pilot test of 10 cars, according to Salaver.

The second phase of the project, which will complete the 700-car installation, will cost $2.4 billion and is expected to be completed by 2024, Salaver said.

The project will be paid for with Federal Formula funds, Surface Transportation Program funds and BART High Speed Rail funding, according to the Web site.

Franklin said BART plans to increase sustainability by using recycled materials for construction and installing regenerative breaks.

The designs are projected to be ready in December 2010 and the search for a manufacturer will begin in the next two years, Salaver said.

"We have to put our concepts to bid," she said. "(Manufacturing) firms have to look at that and say, 'I can make that happen and this is what it's gonna cost.'"

Although the board is unsure when it will approve the plan, Salaver said BART expects to hold public meetings in the summer and fall.

Franklin said rider input is essential as BART moves forward with plans.

"We need to hear from a variety of people traveling as we prepare for the next 40 years," he said.

Tags: BART

Contact Arielle Turner at [email protected]

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