OAKLAND (KCBS)— Bay Area Rapid Transit unveiled a full-size mock-up of its “train car of the future” Monday at the MacArthur Station.
BART said it hopes to eventually order 1,000 of the train cars. The models were made of wood, but still gave a pretty good idea of what the trains would look like. The first batch of new train cars should be in service by 2017.
There would be three cars instead of two for easier loading and unloading. There will be fewer seats to accommodate more people who will have to stand (more straps will be available for them to hang on) and those seats will be in plastic, not fabric.
“I don’t like them; I think they look really sterile. It seems like there’s way less seating,” said Don Ridgeway, a BART rider who was not impressed.
BART said it expects a half million daily riders in five years and needs more standing room to accommodate all those riders.
By 2030, the transit agency estimates their ridership could rise to 1 million daily riders.
“This is the oldest transit fleet in the country and BART’s number one priority is to replace this fleet with the new rail cars that are coming in,” said BART General Manager Grace Crunican.
The very first BART trains went into service during the Nixon Administration; in fact, President Nixon rode on one in 1972.
The cars will feature electronic signs on board so passengers know what station is coming up. In addition, trains would run at 10-car lengths at closer intervals.
Anyone can go see the walk-through mock up at MacArthur Station through Friday.
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