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BART’s Fleet of the Future Set for Thanksgiving - By jkukura - October 25, 2017 - SF Weekly
SF Weekly

BART’s Fleet of the Future Set for Thanksgiving

Image: BART

The good news is that the long-delayed, fancy new BART cars have finally passed all of their safety inspections, and the transit system expects to have the sleek new vehicles out on the rails by late November 2017.

The bad news is that only ten of these cars will be added by that date. So your chances of riding one anytime soon, or even several months after Thanksgiving, are extremely slim.

Still, it’s nice to hear that the new BART is planning to roll out the new cars by late November, according to the San Francisco Business Times. The upgraded cars will feature nicer seats, bike racks, three doors per side, and more reliable heating and air conditioning systems.

But with only ten new cars hitting the tracks in November, you probably won’t be riding one anytime soon. All ten cars are likely to be hitched together as one ten-car train during peak commute hours (or as two five-car trains during lighter hours). Since BART runs 62 trains during peak commute hours, your chance of riding one o these trains is just one in 62.

BART is planning on adding more of the new trains, and plans to have 70 up and running by next summer.

Another factor delaying full implementation is that each driver needs to be trained to drive the new cars, as they have new controls and operate differently.

The new cars are not guaranteed to roll out in November. BART has to submit about 3,000 pages of testing documentation to the California Public Utilities Commission, who the  have to approve the paperwork. But BART has been working with the PUC going back to the 1970s, and they don’t expect any problems.

The new cars were originally scheduled to debut in December 2016.