BART restores full service on Fremont line

July 14, 2008 4:20:49 PM PDT
Bay Area Rapid Transit District officials said today that full service has been restored on the transit agency's Fremont line, two months after electrical fires disrupted train schedules.

However, BART officials said they still don't know what caused the two electrical fires at the Hayward maintenance yard on May 10, and an investigation is continuing.

The fires caused BART to reduce its normal service to Fremont.

For nearly two months, Richmond-to-Fremont trains turned around at the Bay Fair station in San Leandro instead of running south all the way to Fremont. That caused delays for some passengers because they had to transfer at Bay Fair.

The fires also caused delays for passengers on the Fremont-to-Daly City line because, while those trains went all the way to Fremont, they had to run slowly past the Hayward yard, located between the South Hayward and Union City stations.

That caused southbound passengers to arrive late and forced northbound passengers to show up at their stations earlier than normal.

On July 4, BART began running both lines down to the Fremont station again, but trains continued to move slowly past the Hayward Yard.

BART officials initially estimated that it would take six to eight weeks to restore full service on the Fremont line.

However, full service was restored today to the Fremont line, including the Union City and Fremont stations.

BART officials said trains on both the Richmond-to-Fremont and Daly City-to-Fremont lines began running at full speed today between the Hayward and Fremont stations, and that all departure times now follow the timetable in the Jan. 1, 2008 edition of BART's timetables.

In a statement, BART board vice president Tom Blalock said, "I'm grateful the daily delays some riders experienced are finally over."

He said, "We're back to providing our customers with the high quality and reliable service they deserve."

BART chief engineer Don Allen said, "We apologize for the inconvenience some of our passengers experienced."

Allen said, "Immediately after fires broke out, our No. 1 priority was to focus on the repairs that would restore normal service as soon as possible so we could eliminate delays."

He said, "Our crews literally worked 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to accomplish that goal. We still have a lot more work to get the Hayward yard fully operational, but at least those repairs won't delay riders."


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