Public input has been an important part of the design process for the Fleet of the Future. Since the project began in 2009, BART has been collecting feedback on current and proposed designs to help inform the design process.
To date, over 15,000 people have offered input that has helped BART and Bombardier make design decisions, including 5,000 people who visited a full scale model of the train interior at the MacArthur station in July 2013.
Here is a video from the train car model event.
Among randomly selected people invited to try out the train car model, 84% rated the train interior layout as excellent or good. The most popular features of the new train model were:
- the overall roominess of the interior layout
- bicycle racks at center doors that provide a place for bikes to park that is out of the way
- digital screens that show the location of the train and the next stop
- 50% more doors to make getting off the train faster and easier
- new multi-branch poles that give riders another handhold to use when the trains start and stop
- the use of non-fabric, wipeable seat covers that are easier to keep clean
Of course, not all the feedback was positive. Customers pointed out these changes that they would like to see:
- where we had two seat benches in an L-shape pattern in the middle of the car, customers told us that the seat closest to the window needed more legroom. As a result, we are currently working on a redesign to add legroom to these seats.
- feedback on the armrests between seats continues to be mixed. A plurality of customers like the middle armrests because they give people something to push up against to stand up from a seated position, and they provide a greater feeling of separation between strangers sitting in adjacent seats. But some customers prefer not to have armrests in order to provide extra space for larger riders, and to more easily accommodate more than two children on a two-person seat bench. We asked for more public input on this issue during the prototype seat events in October-November 2013. Some of the prototype seats had armrests and some did not, enabling the public to try out the seats both ways and give us feedback on this question.
- some customers expressed concern about having flip down seats and a bicycle rack share the same space. As a result, we are looking at possibly removing the flip down seats. This would help avoid tension between bicyclists and other customers on crowded trains.
We also received valuable comments from people with disabilities who visited the MacArthur train car model. See our new train car Accessibility page for details.
Beyond the recent MacArthur train car model, over the last two years thousands of customers have sent us emails, filled out surveys, or attended one of the dozens of design review events we have held throughout the Bay Area. Here are the top categories of feedback we have received, along with a BART response:
We value continued feedback on all of these issues. Please send us your thoughts. It really helps us with the design process.
Part of the design process includes prototyping, or creating a partly functional model of elements that will be included in the train cars. Prototypes allow us to try things out and see how they work in real life.
For example, in April 2013 BART created a rough wooden prototype of bike racks for the new train cars. We then asked the BART Bicycle Task Force to bring their bikes and try out the bike rack. The process of trying out the bike rack with various types of bikes helped BART gather useful feedback about what works and what could be changed to make the bike rack work better.
In Fall 2013, BART invited the public to test out prototype seats. The input collected at these events will help define the BART experience for years to come.
Also Provide Your Feedback On The Future On-Board Digital Screen
We need your help on anohter prototype we've developed!
The new train cars will include 6 interior digital screens (located next to side doors) that will display a dynamic system map, the next stop, courtesy reminders and saftey information. BART is excited about using these screens to improve customers' BART experience! Click here to view a sample loop of the proposed style and content on the screens (for highest resolution, select the systems symbol on the video toolbar and adjust quality to 720p or higher). The station map on the left tells you where you are, while the right hand side of the screen shows the next stop and other information.
Does the info on the screen provide you with what you need? Please Email BART with your feedback.
Sign up for updates on the new train car project to hear the latest Fleet of the Future announcements and to be invited to upcoming design review events.