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'Fleet of Future' Enters BART Service

The San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) began updating the oldest heavy rail fleet in the nation on Jan. 19, when the agency welcomed the first 10 railcars in its Fleet of the Future to service.

“The sight of this new train in service is a sign of a brighter future for BART customers,” said BART Board President Robert Raburn. “Adding new train cars and phasing out BART’s legacy fleet is just one of the ways we are modernizing. We are also replacing track and infrastructure and bringing on a new train control system to improve reliability and run trains closer together. But for now, let’s all enjoy the look and feel of the brand-new cars.”

General Manager Grace Crunican said, “I am thrilled our riders finally get a chance to ride in these cars they helped design. “These state-of-the-art cars represent a new chapter for BART. Commuters and casual riders alike will notice a huge improvement in their experience.” 

The new railcars from Bombardier provide improved noise reduction through redesigned doors and reshaped wheels, padded seats with easy-to-clean fabric, a more efficient cooling system and automated next-stop information. They also have three doors on each side instead of two, which allows for quicker on-and-off boarding, as well as wider aisles than the legacy cars, bike racks and poles for standees to hold on to.

An additional 10 railcars will enter service when they complete final testing and certification, with the next delivery of new cars scheduled in February. The last cars in the 775-car order are scheduled to arrive at BART in 2021.

Cutting the ribbon on BART’s first Fleet of the Future railcar to enter service, from left: BART Director Rebecca Saltzman; BART Board of Directors President Robert Raburn; Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority General Manager Nuria Fernandez; BART Director Debora Allen; BART Group Manager John Garnham; and San Francisco County Transportation Authority Executive Director Tilly Chang.

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