California Congressman Says BART’s Aging Infrastructure Needs National Help

CONCORD (KCBS) — The BART repair yard in Concord was busier than normal on Friday. That’s when Congressman John Garamendi of Fairfield made the argument for a national response to aging transit systems everywhere in the U.S.

Garamendi took a figurative peek “under the hood” and did not like the looks of things saying there needs to be an overhaul.

“These cars are the oldest rapid-transit rail cars in the United States by far. By the time we replace these cars, many of them will be over 50-years-old,” said Paul Oversier, the assistant general manager of BART operations.

KCBS’ Dave Padilla Reports:

According to him, the transit agency has enough money to buy 260 new cars, but many more are needed.

Garamendi said a national transportation bill needs to be passed immediately in order to, “maintain places like this”.

Natalie Presa, who’s worked as a transit vehicle mechanic at BART for 16 years, said it’s getting harder and harder to find parts for the aging fleet. She’s noticed some major changes in the aging cars.

“There are some things that are becoming less available,” she said.

The current federal Surface Transportation Act is set to expire by the end of this month unless the House votes to reauthorize it.

The senate has already passed a bipartisan version of the bill.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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  • Sue

    Bart has been telling everyone how much money they have with ridership up, and prices up…..So why are they not using their money to upgrade all along instead of giving themselves raises……they are already overpaid compared to other similar jobs in california……I wish I could make $20 an hr standing in a booth,,,giving out informaion…not giving change….not givbing polite answers to people or helping them….When I rode Bart I experienced this first hand and it is now time for Bart to pay their way withOUT our money…NO MORE GOVERNMENT FUNDS TO HIGH PAID POSITIONS OR RAISES……If they can not handle it…Then the government should take it over and fired all the FAT Cats and audit where the money has been going…..

  • Ron lee

    Maybe Bart should expand less ,like to San Jose and spend money on repairs and new cars, Bart is Gov agency they spend and spend and once in a while they say they have a surplus of a few million total bs. Bart did more harm than good, it caused urban growth , now some commuters spend close to a car payment each month commuting on Bart l$300 per month.

  • Marty

    BART should be privatized. If they want to expand to San Jose, that’s fine. But the taxpayers shouldn’t foot the bill. I’m amazed they don’t rent out advertising space on the sides of the cars. That would bring in revenue. They do it on New York’s subway, so it might help bring in some extra cash here.

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