BART replacing HVAC units for more comfortable climate on train cars


BART replacing HVAC units for more comfortable climate on train cars

We recognize temperatures can be uncomfortable sometimes for riders on crowded trains, so we are in the process of replacing the heating, ventilation and air condition (HVAC) systems on the most problematic cars.

There are 230 “second generation” cars and these have far more HVAC problems than the 439 earlier generation cars that were modernized in the late ‘90s. In general, the problems are a result of the HVAC systems on these second generation cars not being designed to handle the extra demands of our increased ridership.

To address the problems, BART is replacing the HVAC units on all the second generation cars. The replacement project launched last year, HVAC units have been replaced on 40 cars and they continue at a pace of 12 cars per month. Our goal is to complete the replacements next year.

Looking ahead to the arrival of the Fleet of the Future beginning in 2017, the new rail cars will be even more efficient in keeping customers comfortable. They are designed for a capacity of 178 riders, feature microprocessor thermostats that much more responsive than the current sensors and will even be able to withstand outside temperatures of 110 degrees.

In the meantime, here are some tips that may help riders in stuffy conditions:

  • If you are on a BART car that seems to have no air conditioning at all, you can use the intercoms on either end of the train to let the train operator know (the car number is located at either end of the car above the door) so the problem can be reported for maintenance attention. Climate control in each car is independent, and automated, so the temperature can't be adjusted by an individual train operator, but he or she can report the problem.
  • Try moving to another car. Because the climate control is separate in each car, you may find a more comfortable spot just one car over.
  •  Follow safety rules such as not holding doors open, which can damage the equipment and cause delays.
  • Practice courtesy such as moving to the center of the car so others can board, and clearing specially designated seats for seniors and people with disabilities.
  •  If you have an important connection to make -- such as an airline flight -- consider taking a train earlier than you normally would to build in extra time in case of weather-related delays.