WALNUT CREEK, Calif. (KGO) -- The last legacy BART ran Sunday night as the system prepares for big changes this coming week. Riders can expect to see only the new trains starting Monday.
"I was here when BART opened," said George Segura, an Oakland resident and consistent BART rider. "I remember we were at the opening, I had just moved here as a kid, but yeah that's the nature of life."
The move to only the new trains is part of a series of changes from the agency. BART officials are implementing a new schedule they say will make trains run more frequently. They are removing half-hour wait times and replacing them with 20-minute wait times. The yellow on weekdays will see trains run every 10 minutes apart, and those on the Richmond lines will see 10 minute wait times on weekends.
"We needed a schedule that matched the current commute patterns," said BART spokesperson Jim Allison. "We know that more people are traveling on the weekends and the evenings, so we have increased the service 50% on weekends and evenings."
BART has not seen ridership numbers come even close to what they were before the pandemic. Also, BART says the people who are riding BART are not following the morning and evening rush times they used to see. This new schedule is adjusted for the current state of the system.
"We no longer have the big high rush we used to see in the morning, where a lot of people are traveling from the East Bay into the city. It is more evened out throughout the day and throughout the week, so we matched the travel patterns to our schedule," Allison said.
BART is also shortening the trains. There will no longer be 10-car and nine-car trains. BART says the shorter trains will make it safer by allowing police to patrol the cars better.
"People won't be alone in their train cars as often," Allison said. "Also, it provides a shorter distance for our police officers and police personnel to patrol those train cars."
Safety is front of mind for many riders. Segura says he rides BART every day and frequently sees people breaking the law.
"What I see is there is a lot of misuse of the trains," Segura said. "A lot of sleeping on the trains, people playing loud music and smoking. A lot of smoking sometimes, it is hard to breath. And it is hard with no police presence. I have called a couple times but had no reaction."
Segura hopes this new system will make a difference, because he doesn't feel like BART has made many improvements following the pandemic.
"The police seem afraid to act sometimes, and I have also seen police maybe a total of four times in the last month," he said.
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