BART’s Board of Directors today took the next step toward completely replacing the agency’s oldest-in-the-nation fleet of rail cars by approving a contract for an additional 365 state-of-the-art cars. 410 cars are already on order thanks to a May 2012 board decision that approved the initial order and to work with Bombardier Transportation to create the Fleet of the Future.
“Replacing our existing fleet is essential to BART’s commitment to be a world class, sustainable public transportation system,” said BART President Tom Radulovich. “The rail cars we’ve approved today will better serve our riders and help accommodate growing ridership as the Bay Area population expands and we extend into Silicon Valley.”
By exercising options to purchase an additional 365 cars today, BART realizes savings of approximately $128 Million. This savings is recognized through an agreement with Bombardier to increase the delivery rate which will shorten the project by 21 months, improve the brakes and provide five free cars.
The first of the new rail cars are expected to arrive in less than two years. Ten pilot cars are scheduled to be delivered in the summer of 2015, followed by comprehensive testing of the pilot cars on the BART system. The delivery of the 765 remaining production series cars is expected to follow between early 2017 and 2021.
The Fleet of the Future is being designed with a keen eye toward BART riders and we’ve sought public input every step of the way. BART riders can look forward to a reconfigured interior layout designed to maximize seating, openness, and comfort; more priority seating for seniors and people with disabilities; wheelchair areas at the end of each car and bicycle racks in every car.
Other new features include easy-to-clean seats; enhanced passenger information on interior and exterior digital displays, higher quality public address systems, including automated announcements and three doors for faster and easier boarding.
The new energy efficient cars will be assembled at Bombardier’s plant in Plattsburgh, N.Y., with at least 60 percent American sourced parts.