BART of the Future

By Jennifer Warburg
August 31, 2011
Image courtesy of Noah Christman

Forget what your mother told you about "it's what’s on the inside that counts.” In the case of BART trains, it’s all about what’s on the outside.

BART’s new fleet of cars is on track to begin service in 2016. This month, BART provided a first look at the concepts for the new train cars, holding a series of forums for the public to weigh in on the design of the interiors of the future.

The most important change in the new fleet, however, is one made to the exteriors: the addition of 50 percent more doors for boarding and off-loading.

In our recent video “Crossing the Bay,” SPUR recommended adding more doors to BART trains as a crucial step to reduce loading delays and make for faster and smoother commutes.

BART currently carries more than 750,000 riders between San Francisco and the East Bay each week. That number is projected to increase as the Bay Area population grows by another 1.7 million people over the next 25 years. It is essential that we continue to use smart design to accommodate more people on transit.

Finally, while the exterior is the most important factor to system efficiency, the interior is important for user comfort, so BART passengers will be glad to note that all design concepts include new seat cushions that are, shall we say, less absorbent.

Read SPUR's blog post: How will 1.7 million more people cross the SF Bay? >>