Every once in a while, we stumble upon some BART history (see: Original BART logo from 1958, BART map from 1961) that’s too good to pass up.
In the following video from 1968, titled Along the Way, construction updates and a vision of the public transit system are described in detail, complete with a singer crooning:
Over the hills and all along the way,
We’re building a dream for tomorrow (x2)
Where trains that cross the hills and land
Go through the town by night and day
And sunshine touches every hand
In parks where children play
3:56 “Buried sailing ships and a water table lying only 20 feet below street surface make San Francisco tunneling something less than a picnic.”
4:24 “Specially-selected and highly-trained men–sandhogs–spend several hours each day sealed in compressed airlocks adjusting to the increased air pressure. And–at the end of the shift–readjusting to life at the street surface.”
5:40 Here you can see an old BART logo that includes a “D” for “district”
6:05 “Each station has been individually designed by prominent Bay Area architectural firms.”
6:41 “58 prefabricated sections are nudged and towed to exact spots on the transbay route and regularly lowered with precision exactness to their places on the bottom of the bay.”
9:49 “And in years to come, today’s schoolchildren will be adult users of the system, so they help break ground for San Francisco’s Market Street subway.”
10:40 “Experts say there is only one way to prevent our cities and their surrounding suburbs from being strangled by traffic, poisoned by exhaust fumes and forced to devote more of their living and working space to parking lots–and that is to provide inexpensive public transportation service that is frequent, fast, and reliable enough to induce citizens to leave their cars at home when they go to places of work or pleasure.”
Do you think the expectations for BART 40 years ago match the role played by the system in Bay Area culture today?
For more information about Along the Way or to download the film, visit archive.org.