BART officials discuss Earthquake Safety Program and early warning system


BART officials discuss Earthquake Safety Program and early warning system

With earthquake safety awareness high after Sunday's Napa quake, BART officials reminded the public about how the transit system has been strengthened to increase safety and explained its cutting edge technology used to detect earthquakes before they occur.

The Napa earthquake happened overnight Sunday at a time with no passenger service on BART.  

BART's formal Earthquake Safety Program was established in 2000 and fully funded in 2004 thanks to voters approving a general obligation bond. Construction began in 2007 and is expected to be completed in 2022.

"Safety is our first priority and the Earthquake Safety Program has significantly strengthened much of the BART system to ensure the safety of passengers and employees in the event of a major earthquake," BART Board Director James Fang said.

In addition, BART implemented an Earthquake Event Reaction System in 2012 to provide an early warning system that would enable trains to be slowed and possibly stopped before quaking begins. The system was created with the help of University of California, Berkeley, seismologists and is the first of its kind for a transit agency in the United States.  This early detection system operated as designed when the quake hit on Sunday.

BART Board members James Fang and John McPartland spoke at a press conference Monday at Embarcadero Station. A video clip of the press conference is embedded above.

A guide to multiple aspects of safety, including evacuation procedures, can be found at this url: http://www.bart.gov/guide/safety/safety

You can sign up for email bulletins about earthquake safety news at the Earthquake Safe Program page here: http://www.bart.gov/about/projects/eqs