By Wilson Walker

PITTSBURG (KPIX 5) — Until now, BART’s fleet of the future was coming from 3,000 miles away. Come this fall, those trains will be assembled right here in the Bay Area.

In front of a gleaming new train just delivered from Schenectady, New York, stood a line of beaming elected officials from the East Bay, announcing that the remainder of the new BART fleet will be built in this Pittsburg industrial park.

“We are absolutely elated,” declared Assemblymember Tim Grayson (D-Concord).

“Very excited,” added Pittsburg Mayor Juan Banales. “Very excited to welcome Bombardier to make our BART trains here, locally … So, immediately over the next couple of months, Bombardier will bring 50 jobs.”

“What I am looking forward to is working with the president of the company, and see how we can partner with them to expand that,” added Assemblymember Jim Frazier (D-Discovery Bay). “That’s the real excitement here, that the BART job is just a foothold for Bombardier, with – hopefully – more contracts to come.

New jobs, right at home, that’s something of a holy grail for this part of the Bay Area. Add to that the almost poetic twist that those workers will build the region’s public transit system. This was a good day for Pittsburg, and beyond.

“We’ve been just starving for jobs in East Contra Costa County. Everybody’s commuting out,” said Frazier. “This is a great start.”

“These folks are used to getting in a car and commuting two hours one way for a livable wage job,” added Grayson. “Now they get to commute across town. This is a game changer for the East Bay, specifically for East Contra Costa County.”

As for the Fleet of the Future, BART has received 84 of the 775 new trains that it has ordered. That means hundreds and hundreds of trains will be built at the Pittsburg facility. That work could start as soon as September.

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