BART to exclusively run Fleet of the Future trains beginning Sept. 11

Aug. 24, 2023
The new trains are shorter than BART’s legacy trains, which the authority explains will allow for more police and safety staff presence, cleaner trains and fewer delays.

Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) will exclusively run Fleet of the Future trains for its base schedule as part of the agency’s reimagined schedule launch on Sept. 11. BART notes the change from legacy trains to Fleet of the Future trains represents an improvement in the rider experience, as well as on-time performance, as the Fleet of the Future trains are shorter in size. BART’s legacy trains will only be used as event trains or for contingencies going forward. 

The agency’s latest Quarterly Performance Review (QPR) revealed the new trains are much more reliable than legacy trains. The QPR for April through June shows the Mean Time Between Service delays for the new cars are more than double the length for that of the legacy cars.

“Our new cars are cleaner, require less maintenance, have better quality surveillance cameras and offer a better customer experience with automated next stop displays and announcements," said BART Chief Communications Officer Alicia Trost. “Feedback from our riders on the Fleet of the Future cars has been profusely positive so offering more new car rides is a great accomplishment in customer service.” 

BART explains shorter trains mean:

  • More police and safety staff presence
  • Cleaner trains
  • Only new trains will be in service unless there is a need to run an old train
  • Fewer delays
  • $12 million is cost savings

BART plans to launch the Fleet of the Future trains using eight-car and six-car trains but will adjust as ridership grows. Running trains with fewer cars will allow the BART Police Department (PD) to increase its visibility on trains and platforms while using the same number of staff. When there’s a call for service, officers can clear shorter trains much more quickly. Officers on train patrols will also be able to walk more of the in-service train cars.

“There is safety in numbers and that’s especially true on BART,” said BART PD Interim Chief Kevin Franklin. “This change will allow us to have more eyes on train car as we continue to boost our visible safety presence with our officers and unarmed Transit Ambassadors and Crisis Intervention Specialists. A lot of unwanted behavior will be deterred through the presence of more riders and potential witnesses in every train car.”

Sizing trains for safety is a direct response to feedback gathered through BART’s Not One More Girl anti-harassment initiative. Eliminating empty and near-empty trains cars will create a safer, more welcoming environment for women, girls, gender non-conforming people, seniors, families and all riders.

BART will hold a proper public retirement ceremony for the legacy fleet to mark their final run in service at a later date. 

About the Author

Brandon Lewis | Associate Editor

Brandon Lewis is a recent graduate of Kent State University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lewis is a former freelance editorial assistant at Vehicle Service in Endeavor Business Media’s Vehicle Repair Group. Lewis brings his knowledge of web managing, copyediting and SEO practices to Mass Transit Magazine as an associate editor.