New Train Car Project
Welcome Aboard the Fleet of the Future
New Train Car Delivery Update (as of 08/02/21):
|Cars Received||Certified||In Service|
Note: some cars are being used to provide training for BART train operators and maintenance technicians on the new systems, and to allow for regular train maintenance.
- BART currently has 23 new trains in service.
Update: Reliability work continues (6/10/21)
BART continues to work with the manufacturer of the Fleet of the Future to ensure the new rail cars meet the required standard of reliability. BART stopped accepting deliveries of new cars on January 8, 2021 due to poor reliability performance and car availability issues related to wheel flats.
One of the main contributors to poor reliability was the software in the on-board automatic train control system. The software was causing the new cars to routinely stop while in service, resulting in a five-to-ten-minute delay.
Engineers have revised the software and completed installation. The early results show an increase in reliability. To date, the cars have operated 42,000 hours without a recurrence of one of the most troublesome issues.
Additional software updates are underway. An update to one system installed in March has improved the performance of that system by 61%. Nonetheless, more software updates are required to improve reliability.
Car availability also remains a concern. The new cars have shown a tendency to develop flat spots on the wheels in rainy conditions. When this occurs, cars are removed from service to resurface the wheels, meaning fewer cars are available for passenger service.
The issues discussed above do not impact the safety of the cars currently accepted for service.
Update: BART will temporarily stop accepting new cars (12/29/20)
BART will temporarily stop accepting delivery of new Fleet of the Future (FOTF) rail cars beginning January 8, 2021 to allow the manufacturer, Bombardier Transportation, the time to take steps to improve the cars’ reliability and availability, and to alleviate rail car storage constraints at BART’s maintenance yards.
One of the issues to be resolved is related to software in the on-board automatic train control system. The new cars routinely stop while in service and will not move until after the Train Operator reboots the system, resulting in a five-to-ten-minute delay.
In addition, when trains are stopping under wet or rainy conditions, the cars’ wheels can develop flat spots. When this occurs, the cars need to be removed from service so that the wheels can be resurfaced.
While neither issue impacts the safety of existing FOTF cars currently in service, they can impact service reliability and car availability.
BART is expected to have 290 FOTF cars by January 8th and, combined with 618 legacy cars, BART will be required to retire legacy cars to create room for additional FOTF cars. Given the pause in delivery of new cars, which is expected to last a minimum of twelve weeks, BART will decommission legacy cars at a slower rate.
BART is committed to supporting Bombardier Transportation as they work to address issues that impact the reliability and availability of the FOTF, and to implement pragmatic solutions that will provide the highest levels of performance for the new cars.
Update: Fleet of the Future cars to be assembled in the Bay Area (06/14/19)
On June 14, 2019 Bombardier Transportation announced it is opening a rail car assembly site in Pittsburg, California to assemble BART’s Fleet of the Future rail cars. This work, which is currently taking place in upstate New York, will be transferred to the Bay Area over the coming months.
The new facility is expected to employ local workers, contribute tax dollars to the local economy and, thanks to its proximity to BART’s Hayward Test Track, greatly reduce the vehicle emissions needed to transport the cars to BART property.
Update: Space for Bikes on the Fleet of the Future (05/24/19)
Based on surveys of more than 3,000 BART riders, a decision has been made to include two bike areas on each new Fleet of the Future train car, the same as on BART’s older legacy cars.
While the bike areas result in fewer seats, having an open bike area at each end of the car:
- is consistent with the legacy cars, which have two bike areas;
- will create a predictable boarding location for bicyclists at each end of the car;
- will accommodate more cyclists; and
- will accommodate more standing passengers, luggage, and strollers when not used by bikes.
With this change, the current order of 775 Fleet of the Future cars will have an average of 50 seats, compared to legacy cars which average 54.6 seats.
Fleet of the Future cars use thinner seat backs to help maximize seat count, and are outfitted with as many seats as can fit within the available space. Available space for seating, however, is limited by new buffer zones at the ends of each car required for crash safety, and a third door on each car to make it faster and easier to get on and off the train.
Nevertheless, as new cars continue to arrive, BART is increasing the number of cars in service to maximize overall seating. By Spring 2020, BART anticipates to increase train lengths to 10 cars on all transbay runs. Also, to increase the number of seats in the fleet, BART has set a goal to obtain funding to increase the number of cars from 669 in the old fleet to 1,200 train cars in the future. This would increase the number of seats in the fleet by more than 60%.
Each bike area will have a horizontal leaning bar and strap that bicyclists can use to stabilize their bikes. BART is selecting this leaning bar option instead of bike racks based on bicyclist preference in the survey. Also based on bicyclist feedback, BART will explore modifications to the shape of the leaning bar to more closely match the leaning bars on the legacy cars in terms of height and distance from the wall. Here is a picture of the leaning bar and straps that were tested:
Note: most of the Fleet of the Future cars delivered to date have just one bike area per car. They will be modified in the future to conform with the two-bike-area standard.
A New Era Begins
The first of 775 new BART train cars went into service January 2018 and are ready to take you on a quieter, cooler, and more comfortable ride. The new cars will help relieve crowding on the BART system. Here are some tips to help you navigate the Fleet of the Future.
Accessibility Tips for the Fleet of the Future
As the train pulls in, you may notice digital signs on the side and front of the train. These signs use high contrast amber text to show the train destination, and a blue, red, orange, yellow, or green block of color to indicate the route of the train—using the same colors as the BART system map. BART will also continue to display train destinations on the electronic signs above the platform and via audio announcements.
Navigating the System
Once on-board, check out the digital screen next to each side door. It has a dynamic system map and a “You Are Here” bubble that shows your train’s current position. The right-hand side of the screen shows next stop information and customer service messages. You may also see next stop information on an overhead digital sign at the end of the car, or hear it via new automated announcements.
More Priority Seats
Notice the green priority seats on your left as you enter the train. BART asks passengers to yield these seats to people with disabilities, seniors, and those who are pregnant. With the addition of the third door, the new trains have approximately 50% more priority seating.
New trains have 50% more doors for easier boarding and exiting. Decals on the train exterior mark doors that have wheelchair areas, multi-purpose space, and bike areas. Note that the location of the first and third door on each car will align with existing black squares on the platform but the platform is not yet marked to show where to wait to board a middle door. BART plans to start installing the new markers this summer.
Tactile Directional Bars
Blind or low vision customers may continue to use existing “directional bars” at the center of the platform to identify a boarding location. At these locations, blind or low vision customers can board the first or third door of the new cars. (Middle door locations do not yet have directional bars. BART plans to seek input from the BART Accessibility Task Force on how best to mark these additional locations for blind customers at a future date when all the train cars have a middle door.) When boarding, turn left for the priority seats or grab the floor-to-ceiling pole that is straight ahead.
The two wheelchair areas in each car are both located near the middle door to make it easier for passengers who use wheelchairs to travel together. Note that there are no floor-to-ceiling poles in this area to provide maximum accessibility for customers who use wheelchairs. Wheelchair areas are marked on the floor with the international disability symbol.
Different Riders, Different Needs
BART knows that different riders have different needs. Seat back handles and vertical poles help riders stand up or lower themselves into the new, higher seats. These new seats have more room underneath for service animals or carry-on luggage. Overhead straps are available to support standing passengers. And vertical bars and floor-to-ceiling poles provide a place to hold on to as the train starts or stops for passengers who are unable to reach overhead straps.
Assisted Listening Hearing Loop
The center area of each car has a hearing loop system (indicated by a decal on the train interior) for riders who use hearing aids or cochlear implants. The range of this system covers approximately the center 1/3 of the train car. This system is one of the first of its kind in a moving public transit vehicle. Please consult your audiologist for optimal device settings.
Evacuation information is posted at the ends of each car. In the event of an evacuation, the train operator will make an announcement and information may also appear on the digital displays. Emergency features, located throughout the car, are indicated by red signs that can glow in the dark. Please note the location of emergency features such as fire extinguishers and ladders near car ends, and manual door release handles and intercoms near each door area.
Digital cameras, onboard all cars, help deter crime, but alert riders are always the best defense. Please report any suspicious packages or activity to BART Police: (510) 464-7000 or through the BART Watch app available for your mobile device.
Meet the Fleet: An In-depth Look at New Car Features
Check out recent articles on the Fleet of the Future:
For more information, click on a topic you'd like to read more about:
Overview | Accessibility | Sustainability
Do you have a question about the Fleet of the Future? We have answers to some of the most common questions here.
Questions, comments, feedback? Email the Fleet of the Future Design Team