BART to participate in the 2016 Great California ShakeOut
*Watch our live Twitter broadcast during the drill:
Just days following the anniversary of the Loma Prieta earthquake, BART will join millions of other Californians in the largest earthquake drill in history. The Great California ShakeOut will take place on Thursday, October 20, 2016 at 10:20 am.
At 10:20 am, BART staff will trigger our early warning earthquake system to ensure it is functioning and working correctly. Once triggered, trains will automatically slow down to 26 mph. BART will also make a public announcement encouraging riders to be prepared for earthquakes.
BART is an early adopter of the ShakeAlert system which is connected to seismic stations located throughout Northern California. When the alarm is triggered, the system sends a speed restriction command to trains. This system removes human response time and can even slow trains down before the shaking occurs depending on how far away the quake is centered.
BART has an Earthquake Emergency Response Plan and we hold several drills a year to ensure staff is trained and ready to respond. In the event of an earthquake, riders should listen for instructions from BART personnel. Employees are trained to evacuate the public from dangerous areas. Following an earthquake, BART trains are held in place (except for trains in the Transbay Tube and Berkeley Hills Tunnel) until it is determined it is safe to move the train to the nearest station where riders will be off-boarded.
BART has spent the last decade retrofitting vulnerable high traffic portions of the original system to make it safer in a large quake. The Earthquake Safety Program is funded in part by Measure AA, a $980 million general obligation BART bond approved by voters in 2004. The Program focuses on upgrading portions of the original system not only for life safety but also to ensure that we can return to operation shortly after a major earthquake.