SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — BART ridership is higher than ever but its fleet of train cars is breaking down, especially on hot days. Trains can get so crowded during rush hour that some passengers are unable to get on.
Commuter Tina Carroll had to let three evening rush hour trains pass by in San Francisco’s Embarcadero Station before she could finally squeeze on.READ MORE: Video: Motorist Rescued From Fiery Freeway Crash In San Jose
“It’s very frustrating getting on these eight-car car trains. The trains are very crowded every night—very frustrating,” she said.
Nicole Maynard, another BART rider, was taking a train traveling in the opposite direction, going back four stations just so she could be sure to board.
“I do have claustrophobia so if this train was to get stuck right here, you would all see me freak out. Right now I’m okay because I’m sitting down. If I need, I just close my eyes but it’s ridiculous,” Maynard said.READ MORE: Mothers Tearfully Remember Children Slain In Bay Area Homicides
The problem, BART spokeswoman Alicia Trost said, is that ridership is peaking, especially with October crowds headed to baseball games, music festivals and big convention like Oracle Open World and Salesforce.com’s Dreamforce. Many cars, in the meantime, are aging—and overheating.
“We’re talking large, crush loads of riders getting on the trains that are the oldest in the nations,” she said.
Instead of ten-car trains, it’s often an eight or nine-car train that end up pulling into the stations.
“You have the same amount of trains out: it’s just sometimes, those trains may be one car short,” Trost said.MORE NEWS: With Playoff Dreams Dancing In Their Heads; San Francisco 49ers Fans Return To Levi's Stadium
It’s not likely that the situation will improve, until BART’s next generation of trains arrives in 2017.