BART's new "Fleet of the Future" is here.
Ten trains of the much-anticipated fleet rolled out Friday, with the first train departing Pleasant Hill at 11 a.m. The transit agency's Director Debora Allen rode the train with a Carter Johnson, an 8-year-old guest from Folsom whose Christmas wish was to travel on a BART train.
“We are on our way to upgrading the system,” Allen said. “It’s very old. It was put in place in 1972 and I think the riders are looking forward to new technology, new cars and BART is as well.”
The California Public Utilities Commission on Wednesday night authorized BART to put its 775 new train cars into service, and passengers may be able to ride the first trains as soon as Friday afternoon.
BART officials said they have one of the oldest big-city fleets of public transit trains in the nation, and will begin to replace their old trains with quieter and more comfortable new ones.
The milestone was delayed in November when the new trains failed a safety inspection but the CPUC.
After that, BART officials hoped to put the new trains into service by mid-December, but it took roughly another month to reach the start date.
BART officials said they've made roughly 2,900 modifications to the trains, completed nearly 400 tests and put their train operators and technicians through roughly 20,000 hours of training so far. The testing spanned 75,000 miles, officials said.
The new train cars will be quieter, cooler and more comfortable, BART says, and will feature digital signs, and more priority seating, doors and space for luggage.
For now, there is only one new train but over the next few months, passengers can expect to see more. BART hopes to replace all old trains by 2022.