CONCORD, Calif. (KGO) -- Another morning of frustration, delays, and bus bridges for BART riders; Friday was day three of no train service between two East Bay stations due to a power problem that damaged 50 trains. Some riders say this is the new normal.
BART riders told ABC7 News on Friday that the problems weren't so bad that morning as opposed to when this all first started because this time around they know what to expect.
"It is what it is and you just gotta make the best of it and roll with the punches," said one rider.
BART riders went about their morning as usual, except part of their new routine now includes hopping on a bus that runs between the Pittsburg-Bay Point and the North Concord-Martinez stations.
"The buses are nice, they're clean, they're cleaner than BART," said commuter Richard Torres.
The buses have been packed with people all morning and have been running frequently to accommodate commuters. We took a ride for ourselves to see how long it would take.
Getting to Pittsburg from Concord took 10 minutes. Heading back to Concord took twice as long. The added time, transfer, and wait are causing some to bubble with frustration.
"Pissed off because they're not doing their job and we pay for it every day," said BART rider Ruth Clay.
BART says it could take 22 weeks to order parts to fix the damaged trains which would impact crowding in the months to follow. But the transit agency says it has no idea when service will resume between the two East Bay stations.
"I'll try to get used to it," said Michael Maze.
Late Friday morning, BART told ABC7 News that they do have experts now looking at the tracks between the two stations. They're hoping to get things fixed and up and running as soon as possible. But again, there's no timeline as to when that would happen.
We've done some math to help you understand just how big a problem all this is for BART. Fifty-eight cars have been damaged on the Pittsburg-Bay Point line. Add that to the other 80 damaged by a similar issue in the Transbay Tube.
That's 138 cars damaged in total, which means there's only 669 cars in BART's entire fleet. So that's more than 20 percent, or 1 in every 5 cars out of service, with these two incidents alone.
All of this centers around an electricity problem that essentially kills power to the cars. Engineers are working around the clock to try and find a fix.
They've pinpointed a single interlocking track between the two stations. Power surges have damaged a small, important, and expensive part called a thyristor. When it fails, the cars stop powering themselves.
BART mechanics tell us it will take five months for the replacement parts to arrive.
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