BART delays, bus bridges, train car shortages to continue indefinitely

Byby Cornell Barnard via KGO logo
Friday, March 18, 2016
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BART is telling passengers that bus bridges, a shortage of train cars and long delays could last indefinitely.

CONCORD, Calif. (KGO) -- BART is telling passengers that bus bridges, a shortage of train cars and long delays could last indefinitely.

A bus bridge between the North Concord and Bay Point stations in the East Bay will continue Friday and possibly beyond.

RELATED: #DearBart: Riders sound off on crowded trains

The transit agency is blaming an electrical problem between those two stations, which damaged around 50 cars Wednesday. BART says it still hasn't been able to pinpoint the cause of the problem. As a result, there are now delays throughout the entire BART system because there are now fewer cars to run, since so many were damaged Wednesday.

BART rider Tiana Gibson and her little one are trying to get home to Antioch. "This is not how I wanted to end my day," Gibson said. "I'm thinking they need to fix the problem."

Trouble is BART isn't sure what's causing a mysterious track problem that's already sent 55 cars to the repair shop after they were zapped with extra voltage when passing a section of track near Bay Point.

"With all this arcing and sparking you see had damage to the thyristors," said BART technician Jay Clemons. Thyristors are a semiconductor device that allow trains to move. The parts are pricey and can take 22 weeks to order.

RELATED: BART addresses questions about delays on social media

The fallout means shorter trains on some routes and longer delays.

"Everything is confused, 28 minutes for first train, and then crowded," said BART rider Yolanda Kirk.

Mary Diaz is handicapped and she had to let train after train go by because she couldn't find a seat. "I can't get on a packed train like that," said BART rider Mary Diaz. Diaz eventually got on a train.

Democratic state senator Steve Glazer of Orinda said he's not surprised by the failure, saying there's a disconnect at BART.

"Out of one pocket they're paying 16 percent pay raises for their workers in management and out of the other pocket they say they don't have any money," Glazer said.

BART says that's not true; track improvement projects are ongoing systemwide. The newest problem has no quick fix.

You can also join the conversation by posting on social media with the hashtag #DearBART. We're looking for video messages or comments that you want shared. We might use them on air or online.

RELATED: BART service disruption on Pittsburg/Bay Point line to continue into morning commute

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