BART Will Upgrade Its Entire Fleet: What Changes Do YOU Want to See?
BART, which has the oldest trains of any public transit agency in the nation, is undertaking a 13-year, $3.4 billion project to replace its entire fleet. The new trains will resemble the current fleet but use 5% less energy and offer riders three, rather than two, doors on the sides of each car to reduce the time passengers take getting on and off. The inside of the cars, though, is a work in progress, and BART wants to hear from its diverse pool of riders.
The blue cloth fabric BART seats have been in the spotlight since a Bay Citizen investigation found drug-resistant fecal and skin-born bacteria as well as mold on them. In response to the public outcry, BART has said it will spend $2 million next year replace some of the current cloth seats with newer ones. Starting today, BART passengers can help the agency shop for new seats by testing a myriad of different seat styles and sizes at its "seat lab". It will make about nine stops around the Bay Area over the next few months. Check www.bart.gov to figure out when and where you can participate in a seating lab.
Riders can fill out a comprehenisve survey after to weigh in on various other upgrades. Vehicle capacity, quick boarding and exiting, and how to provide more room for luggage and bicycles are some of a few trade-offs BART wants its riders to consider when deciding whether one more inch of legroom is worth it.
Despite the advance planning, BART doesn’t expect to test new cars until 2016, and only 10 of them at that time. The first widespread introduction of the new cars will be in 2018.