BART Delays Expected During Track Maintenance, Repairs

Bay Area Rapid Transit officials said service will be slowed down to accommodate repairs needed to keep the system running.

BART said it needs $4.8 billion for maintenance and repairs over the next 10 years. The transit agency may place a measure on the ballot for November 2016.

The repairs became an even more pressing issue after an unnamed BART director was quoted in a local paper saying if people knew the full extent of the problems, they would have second thoughts about riding BART.

BART plans to slow trains that were normally going 27 miles per hour down to 18 miles per hour. The trains will be slowed down in 37 spots throughout the system that are similar to an area of track near the Concord station where two derailments occurred.

"Well the fact of the matters is BART is 42 plus years old and our system is aging," BART Spokeswoman Alicia Trost said.

Trost said repairs on the Pittsburg-Baypoint line began last year. BART is now working on the tracks around the West Oakland station, an area between the Richmond station and the rail yard, and the track between Fruitvale and the Oakland Coliseum stations -- a line that will be shut down for 11 weekends.

Trost said all hands will be on deck to replace the track as quickly as possible.

Frequent BART riders said they have noticed more slow downs and delays in service.

"Yeah, they shut down the Fruitvale station to the Coliseum. I noticed that," Oakland-resident Mariel Flores said.

Dough Chow, an Oakland resident who uses BART, said he has seen trains come anywhere from 5 minutes to 25 minutes late.

BART is telling riders they will experience more delays in the coming year.

In addition to the immediate trouble spots, the track between San Leandro and Bayfair stations need work. The Daly City line will also need to be repaired.

Trost said work will continue along the Pittsburg-Baypoint line.

"That's our longest line. We've been replacing rail, but there's going to need to be much more extensive work that could possibly need a bus bridge or definitely single-tracking, which causes at least 20 minute delays to riders," Trost said.

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