BART models its future train cars in Oakland


The seats are made of plywood and it may lack many finishing touches but the model shows what the BART cars of the future will look like.

The layout is designed with the modern-day BART rider in mind. There are bike racks on board and the old paper maps will be replaced with high-tech digital monitors. And each car will have three sets of doors on each side, rather than two.

"We're going to have like a vinyl type floor, vinyl type seating. And we're still working on the final product but it will be something that we can easily clean and keep the cars' pristine shape," said project manager John Garnham.

That will be a big relief to everyday riders like Berkeley's Natalie Morales who sits on the current seats.

"Ah, they're alright. They're comfortable sometimes. They're dirty. But, I'm mean, right now when I see the seats, they're just pretty new, they're pretty great," she said.

The first thing Eric Shelton noticed was the smaller number of seats.

"Well, at first I thought it was a bad thing. But the more I think about it and how congested it gets, and from what I'm being told, with more trains, you know, I think it's going to work out," he said.

BART says there will be fewer seats but only about 3 percent fewer. Eventually, with many more cars than the current fleet, overall capacity will actually increase.

Two-thirds of the components for these cars will be American-made with final assembly in New York.

"We have a 66 percent domestic content. So, of all the parts coming in there, 66 percent are made in the U.S. the cars will be assembled in the U.S.," said BART General Manager Grace Crunican.

There will be a series of open houses at the MacArthur BART station for the public.

The first cars will roll out in 2017, with a total replacement scheduled for 2023. The project is 75 percent funded by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission with BART covering the rest.

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