BART is inviting Bay Area residents to come and see a mockup of rail car for its fleet of the future plan.
Photo credit: BART
A milestone in public outreach for BART's Fleet of the Future project comes July 23-26, when a full scale mock up of two-thirds of a train car interior will be set up for public viewing at MacArthur Station in Oakland.
You can kick the tires (metaphorically; after all, this is a wooden model of the interior of the car, and BART trains don't have tires) between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. from Tuesday - Friday on the concourse level of the station, in front of the multicolor peacock-feather-looking mural. BART has built the plywood model to give the public a sense of the proportions of the new cars, possible configurations of seats, placement of bike racks and handholds, so visitors can share impressions about these and other new features. Those going through the model will fill out a survey to give their feedback. Nearly 10,000 people have shared feedback so far on the project by attending other events, taking online surveys or emailing comments.
If you're already traveling on BART through MacArthur Station you can view the model and get back on a train without going through faregates. If you are not riding BART but want to tour the model, there will be a stamp system allowing you inside the paid area for the purposes of visiting the mockup only. Regular parking rules apply. Depending on what time you attend and how many people are visiting, you may walk through the model on a self-paced tour; or, if enough visitors are present, BART staff may conduct "pack-the-train" tours to give you a sense of what the space would be like on a crowded train. The mockup is fully accessible for people with disabilities.
While it's not the same as walking through the mockup, if you can't make it on one of the tour dates, you can check out some preliminary designs and submit a feedback form at the BART website. There, you can also find out about many new features planned for the fleet of the future, such as seats that are easier to keep clean, new door technology that better seals out noise and modern passenger information systems.
Get a Sense of the Space
Keep in mind that the mockup is a rough model without final features in place: For example, the seats in the mockup will not be made of actual final seating materials, but will be wooden models of the same height and width of the actual seats. There are static posters of digital displays located in the interior train model where the real displays will go; however, visitors will be able to watch a sample of what the real digital displays could look like at a viewing station after exiting the train model.
More Events to Come
More opportunities to experience the new cars will happen as the timeline moves along. Currently, realistic prototypes of the final seat designs and bike rack designs are expected to be available for viewing in fall 2013 at events to be scheduled. Also, a final "hard mockup" — much closer to what an actual train car will look like, with the full metal exterior rather than a wooden skeleton — is expected for viewing in early 2014.