BART unveils new train car design, seeks input from riders

BART riders got a peak at the next generation of train cars at San Francisco's Justin Herman Plaza on Wednesday.
April 16, 2014 7:09:59 PM PDT
BART riders got a peek at the next generation of train cars at San Francisco's Justin Herman Plaza on Wednesday. The new trains will be hitting the tracks for testing next year and riders can't wait for them to be on line.

The designer of the new cars has built a model and BART wants you to check out the interior and exterior.

The unveiling took place at 11 a.m. during a festival at Justin Herman Plaza, where the public got to tour the train and provide feedback.

"I really like this car. It's fantastic," one rider said.

Another rider didn't like the color of the seats and said they should be orange.

The new trains feature more comfortable seats, improved message boards, three doors to get passengers on and off trains faster, a better cooling system, and digital screens. But disability advocates say the new cars have less space available for people in wheelchairs and new poles will make it harder for people in wheelchairs to get on and off. Some even described this as a step backwards for wheelchair access.

"So I come in here and I got no place to go without hurting her" one woman said.

"I think it's a mess. These poles will impede us from getting from one side to another especially during rush hour when there's a bunch of people trying to get in and out," disabled rider Marissa Shaw said.

BART Board President Joel Keller says he has been aware of this issue.

Wayne: "They're saying you guys aren't listening to them at all. That this is basically a fait accompli."

"We have had plenty of conversations and the dialogue will continue," Keller said.

"That's wonderful, but it doesn't help with access," disabled rider Ian Smith said.

The train will be taken on a flatbed truck to nine other events around the Bay Area between Wednesday and mid-May. More information about the other events can be found on BART's website.

There will be 1000 new trains that will go into passenger service in 2017 and the project is expected to cost $3 billion.

Bay City News contributed to this story.


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