OAKLAND (CBS SF) — BART is expanding its fleet with a massive recycling project that is turning previously scrapped, damaged cars into fully-functioning ones, officials announced Wednesday.
The project began earlier this year in response to increasingly crowded trains, according to BART spokeswoman Alicia Trost.
“We know riders are more cramped than ever and being able to add these trains can help, even if just a little bit,” Trost said.
Twelve refurbished cars are already in service, and six are still being worked on, Trost said.
“We had always assumed these trains were done for good and could only be used for spare parts,” Trost said. “But staff came up with a plan to find the hours, staff, and funding to fix them and get them back into service.”
According to BART officials, the project will help increase the number of cars available for service, lengthen trains as part of changes made last month to alleviate commute crowds, and prepare for the opening of the new Warm Springs Station in Fremont next year.
“As ridership increases, more and more cars are needed,” BART mechanic Daniel Zendejas said in a statement.
The project will ultimately add capacity for 800 more riders per car each day, and increase the percentage of train cars in service from the daily average of 86 percent to 89 percent.
In addition to using BART funds, BART secured $1.7 million in federal funds and $1.69 million in state funds, Trost said.
According to Trost, these new cars are safe and have been through extensive testing.
“We want it to come out good,” BART mechanic John Allen said in a statement. “We want our public to have a safe mode of transportation.”
BART is currently hiring additional vehicle mechanics and transit vehicle electronics technicians. Individuals interested are asked to go to bart.gov/jobs for more information.
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