Track improvements aimed to make BART commute quieter

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If you've been on BART, you may have noticed the loud, screeching noise on the tracks, but relief could be coming for riders as the transit agency incorporates new technology. (KGO-TV)

If you've been on BART before, you've likely noticed the loud, screeching noise on the tracks, but relief could be coming for riders as the transit agency incorporates new technology.

The changes won't happen overnight, but BART officials are very confident about their plans to reduce the noise and all they're asking for is a little patience.

The loud and sometimes painful sounds of BART are something many of us have dealt with before. Some aren't sure what to make of it. "It's a lot of bumping, it's a lot of screeching, a lot of clatter," Bay Point resident Damarya Moody said.

Others say it's a constant struggle. "Sometimes it's just too much, you know especially if you're trying to talk to somebody, it's really bad then," Hayward resident Richard Herrera said.

At times, train noise inside the Transbay Tube can reach levels higher than 90 decibels, which is almost as loud as a diesel truck. But according to BART officials relief is on the way.
After a year of testing, engineers will begin changing the wheel profile on the current fleet. They will be switching it from the original cylindrical design to a modified tapered version.

The result will possibly be a 50 percent reduction in noise. "The new wheel profile is very subtle, a difference to our cylindrical profile, but the effects will be profound, it's amazingly quiet," BART employee Ben Holland said.

The work will start in about three months, but could take up to two years to finish as cars are brought in for service.

The modifications will also be done in-house with existing equipment, meaning more money can be saved. "More and more people are going to use BART now because there is so much traffic on the highways, and so many accidents, I would prefer to go to BART," Hayward resident Harsha Vora said.
The changes come after a study in connection to the new fleet that BART is bringing in.

Riders are already looking forward to the improvements. "Praise God for that, hallelujah, that would be great," Hayward resident Richard Herrera said.

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