BART releases new features of future train car fleet 

click to enlarge BART's new train cars will include special racks for bicycles, inset; the first new trains are expected to go into service in 2017. - COURTESY RENDERING
  • Courtesy rendering
  • BART's new train cars will include special racks for bicycles, inset; the first new trains are expected to go into service in 2017.

BART's new trains will feature digital displays with station maps, bike racks in each car, more standing room and an extra door for increased access.

At more than 30 years old, BART's fleet is the oldest among the nation's public transit systems. Last year, BART's board of directors approved a $3.1 billion plan to purchase 1,000 new train cars, with the first ones set to go into service in 2017. The new cars will be phased in over a period of 15 to 20 years.

On Thursday, the agency unveiled new details about the train cars, manufactured by the Canadian firm Bombardier. Each of the cars will be equipped with an electronic display system detailing information about transfer stations, emergencies and delays, schedules and system maps.

The new cars also will come with bike racks, which will stabilize the two-wheelers while trains move. The agency's directors recently approved a five-month pilot program to ease restrictions against bikes.

Based on customer feedback, BART will continue to use its vinyl materials for its seat covers. The agency is already replacing old cloth seats with vinyl on existing trains, which has been well-received by passengers.

The new seats also will be mounted higher, although there will be fewer of them to allow for more standing passengers. To accommodate those standing, BART will add more low-hanging straps and other amenities, such as the possibility of floor-to-ceiling poles with grips.

With daily ridership projected to hit 750,000 by 2030, BART has made accessibility a key priority of the new trains. The vehicles will feature three doors instead of two, allowing passengers to move in and out easier, and new technology will allow them to seal more tightly for a quieter ride.

Alicia Trost, a BART spokeswoman, said a mockup of the new train designs will be on display for public feedback later this summer. A location for the mockup has yet to be determined.

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Will Reisman

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Thursday, Sep 29, 2016

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