Daily Life

Friday Question of the Day – What do you Think of the New BART Trains?

The new BART train cars are going on tour this month and will be available to view in Concord on May 9th and several other cities as well. Check out the complete city tour list here.

New features:

  • Quieter: “micro-plug” doors will help seal out noise
  • Cooler:  cooling systems will distribute air directly to the ceilings, making it more comfortable for standees on hot days
  • Comfortable:  padded seats will have lumbar support and will be covered with wipeable fabric for ease of cleaning
  • Easy to use:  routes will be color coded like the BART system map, and next stop information will be readily available via automated announcements and digital screens

What they fail to mention on that page is that the number of seats will decrease by about 5 seats per car. Take a look at the rendering of the inside here. What happened to all the seats?

From the New Train Car Project page:

As ridership grows, finding a seat on peak period trains is becoming harder. The new cars have as many seats as can fit within the available space. Having thinner seat backs will help maximize seat count, but new buffer zones for crash safety at the ends of the car, and an extra door in the middle, are limiting factors.

As a result, seat count will drop by 4.6 seats per car on average. To increase the number of seats in the fleet, BART has set a goal to obtain funding to increase the fleet to 1,000 train cars. This would increase the number of seats in the fleet by about 37.6%.

So for this week’s question, what do you think of the new BART train car design? What’s your favorite new feature? Does the lack of seats concern you?