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California Congressman Says BART’s Aging Infrastructure Needs National Help

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BART subway cars sit idle in train yard in Hayward, (AP)

BART subway cars sit idle in train yard in Hayward. (AP)

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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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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