The BART Board of Directors voted today to authorize the development of a Sister Transit Agency affiliation with Shanghai Metro, the subway system in Shanghai, China. Such an affiliation will help bolster relationships and benefit both urban rapid transit systems and their customers by the mutual sharing of ideas, challenges, and experiences.
The Board also voted to ratify Board President John McPartland's appointment of Director James Fang as the liaison for this first ever Sister Agency affiliation for BART. "Transit agencies are no longer insular; they are part of a global institution to provide efficient services," said Director Fang. "This relationship will offer BART a greater understanding of the challenges and benefits of our system in an international context."
Shanghai Metro is one of the fastest growing rapid transit networks in the world. They operate 11 metro lines with 267 stations, and 270 miles of track, making them the longest system in passenger route length in the world. They have additional lines planned or currently under construction that will bring their network to 22 lines spanning 545 miles by the end of 2020.
As BART expands to serve more geographic areas, it can benefit from a close working relationship with a system that is as large as Shanghai Metro. BART can also gain knowledge and insight about Shanghai Metro's Bombardier manufactured train cars that help make up their fleet. Bombardier is currently under contract to build BART's "Fleet of the Future."
Shanghai Metro serves millions of passengers a day. As BART continues to experience record ridership an exploration into Shanghai Metro's platform crowding and delay management methods would be insightful.
"Given our plans to expand and replace our train cars, this is a wonderful opportunity to engage in a sharing of best practices between the two transit agencies," Director Fang noted. "Similarly, BART has 40 years of vast operational knowledge that could perhaps be advantageous for the much newer Shanghai Metro system."