Fleet of the Future | 511 Contra Costa

Fleet of the Future

The new BART.
When BART first introduced it’s now familiar silver and blue train cars in 1972, its futuristic design, sleek system, and comfortable green checkered seats represented the best of public transportation. After almost 40 years these trains are still doing their job and chugging along, but as each day passes, they are in greater need of tuning up, redesign, and some serious Febreze.
That’s why BART has been undertaking a massive project– the Fleet of the Future –to introduce a whole new set of train cars to replace the first generation set. Though the new cars won’t hit the rails for quite a few years, BART is seeking your input to make the most out of the new design and creation of the trains.

What’s going on now?
BART is scheduled to choose a supplier and award a contract for the new fleet in 2011 (choosing between Alstom Transportation, Bombardier Transit Corp., CAF USA, Inc., China South Locomotive, and Rolling Stock Corp.). The final design of the train cars themselves will not be finalized until after a contract is awarded and BART’s Board has made it a priority to seek rider input in this process. What about the BART have you always passionately redesigned in your head while stuck between in the aisle in the rush of the after-work crowd on a rainy day? More ventilation? Displays that tell you what stop you’re arriving at (like in the London Tube)? Non-fabric seats? More seats? A LOT MORE seats? Here’s your chance to be heard.
Some early user input has been implemented in current BART cars to gauge public sentiment (did you notice that some carpets were replaced with composite flooring?), which have had generally positive feedback. Other riders have emphasized a need for greater bike accessibility to allow bicycle commuters to more easily ride to and from work. When BART awards a contract to a supplier, a life-size car model will be created for the public to explore, critique, and ultimately help improve for the final design.
Getting involved.

  • Comment on this blog post or on our Facebook post.
  • Send BART your ideas with their comment form.

Things to think about. (via BART.gov)

  • What kind of seats would you like on the new train cars?
  • How can BART best accommodate customers using wheelchairs?
  • How can BART best accommodate customers with bicycles, strollers, and luggage?
  • What passenger information should the new cars provide in the on-board displays?
  • What features would you like in the new cars?

Join the discussion! Your opinions are vital to the new BART design. What do you think should be changed?
Photo Credit: Capt. Tim

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