It’s been a busy summer for BART. Let’s round up some of the biggest BART stories of the past few weeks.
Seat Lab results are in!
The Bay Area transit agency conducted dozens of workshops to solicit feedback for its new seats. Over 2,200 riders gave the seats a try and offered their comments. The final report is in!
A large majority (75.6%) rated a seat width of 20 inches as acceptable, which would mean wider aisles and an easier time getting to the door to exit the train. Customers, however, were less accepting of narrower 18 and 19 inch seat widths. (BART’s current seats, at 22 inches, are among the widest in the nation.)
Seats without armrests were preferred by 39.2% of participants, but more than a third, 36.8%, chose seats with armrests.
Participants were given the opportunity to comment on various types of material, and the word “clean” was used 653 times in comments. A typical example was: “I prefer material that is easy to keep clean – material other than cloth.”
COMFORT VS. CLEANLINESS
Participants were asked to consider the tradeoffs between comfort and cleanliness with regard to types of seat material. They rated factors on a scale of 1 to 7 where 1 was “not at all important” and 7 was “very important”. Seat cleanliness was favored over comfort with an average mean rating of 6.29 for cleanliness vs. 5.20 for comfort, however clearly they are both important to BART customers.
Nearly half, or 48.7%, of participants indicated they would support removing “several” seats to make more open space for bikes, luggage and strollers.
COMMUNICATION FOR LIMITED ENGLISH PROFICIENCY
More than two-thirds thought BART should use pictograms, standardized icons that identify specific features such as elevators and restrooms.
Do you agree or disagree with these results? BART still wants your opinions!
Speaking of the Fleet of the Future…
BART’s new cars will be designed by BMW!
Not actually BMW, but DesignworksUSA, a subsidiary of the luxury automobile company.
“BART is excited to announce its partnership with BMW Group DesignworksUSA,” BART Board President Bob Franklin said. “With 75% of our customers having the option of choosing another way to get to their destinations, we figured what better way to lure the drivers of the future onto BART than to hire the company who knows motorists best. That’s why we turned to DesignworksUSA, which has been instrumental in the design of many BMW vehicles presently on the road, to design a BART car that’s modern, elegant, comfortable yet practical, economical, and clean so that even more people will choose BART.”
General Manager survey results are in, too!
BART asked its riders what they wanted in a new General Manager, and over 800 riders obliged. They found the most important qualities in a new General Manager to be:
- People management skills (89%)
- Leadership (87%)
- Customer orientation (87%)
- Communication (86%)
Those were out of the options that BART’s survey provided. Riders wrote in answers, too, especially:
- Customer/community focus; better customer service at stations
- Clean/modernize the system
- Improve administrative efficiency/control employee costs
- More for the money/keep fares down
BART turns 60!
The trains didn’t start running until September 11, 1972, but the plan to design and built an enormous, trans-bay, train dates back to 1951.
Happy “conceptual birthday“, BART!