Hundreds of thousands of Bay Area residents are ditching their cars and riding BART instead. In response to its increasing capacity needs, BART is moving toward the future by drafting a three-phased plan to address sustainability and customer service objectives, while maintaining a safe and reliable rapid transit system.
“As the region grows and the economy continues to recover, BART will need to meet the increased demand on our system.” said BART Board President John McPartland. “We are planning for the future with increased service, efficiencies, and access to our stations.”
At today’s Board of Director’s meeting, BART staff unveiled a glimpse into BART’s future in a draft study titled BART Metro: Sustainability Communities Operational Analysis. The analysis aims to identify necessary service and operational improvements, as well as capital programs BART needs to implement in order to prepare for the 560,000 daily riders the Metropolitan Transportation Commission predicts BART will need to carry by 2025. While funding all the initiatives remains a challenge, the plan provides a solid blueprint which gives BART riders what they want: longer trains, efficient service, and a modern fleet with the technology to run it.
Some of the exciting components staff is working on include:
More frequent direct Transbay Tube service
More “show up and go” service and more timed transfers
Express service between core stations
Increased operating speeds in key locations
Additional peak-period service on Pittsburg/Bay Point-SFO and South Hayward to Daly City lines
Extended service on nights and weekends on the Richmond-Millbrae and South Hayward to Daly City lines
Using Bay Fair Station as a “coupling” station where trains can un-couple, creating two trains with one heading to Dublin/Pleasanton and the other heading toward Berryessa Station.
All of these ideas rely on funding, fleet size, system upgrades and many other capital investments. BART will finalize its sustainability plan in 2013.