“I am thrilled our riders finally get a chance to ride in these cars they helped design."
As if there weren’t enough reasons to want to pay a visit to San Francisco, the US city has added a new fleet of smart, efficient and comfortable trains as an extra motivator. The state-of-the-art trains now running on the Californian city’s rail network, BART, have been developed following direct collaboration with 40,000 of the passengers who will use them – featuring upgrades and improvements that will enable quicker journeys and smoother rides.
According to BART, the “years of public input” led to 2,900 modifications to the new trains, which were tested over 75,000 miles, were guided by 5,603 pages of safety analysis and were subject to 382 qualification tests. Dubbed the Fleet of the Future, BART’s general manager, Grace Crunican, said the latest trains were “about the customers”.
Among the biggest changes made have been to the layout, with an open-plan, walkthrough configuration that provides six doors on each car, enabling quicker boarding times than before. Other changes include the installation of video screens that give real-time updates on the train’s location and the upcoming station, in addition to interiors colour-coded to the line on which each train is running on, reducing the chance of passengers boarding the wrong service.
BART will introduce 775 trains in total on the six-line, 46-station network by 2022. Currently running just 10 of the eventual total, the transport authority will introduce its next trains every month from February at a rate of between 16 and 20 cars.
“I am thrilled our riders finally get a chance to ride in these cars they helped design,” said Crunican, adding that the latest cars signal a new chapter for BART. “Commuters and casual riders alike will notice a huge improvement in their experience.”
The “quieter, cooler, comfortable and easy to use trains” will accommodate more people than was possible on the units being replaced, thanks to 50% more priority seats, bike racks and poles to hold onto for those without a seat. Also built with the environment in mind, the new trains are constructed from lightweight aluminium and are fitted with LED lights and regenerative braking – steps that, according to BART, give the commuters riding the trains “the equivalent of 422mpg”.
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