BART presenting breakthrough technology at White House earthquake summit

MILLBRAE, Calif. (KGO) -- BART has combined with UC Berkeley seismologists to develop an early warning detection system. It allows trains to stop up to 50 seconds before an earthquake.

This model could play a big role in a large scale approach to disaster safety.

The system is also getting a lot of attention in the nation's capital. BART will be part of a national summit happening in Washington called the White House Earthquake Resilience Summit.

BART's board director is in Washington to present more on the topic.

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"The other application is automated response, slowing and stopping trains, which BART already does. And opening doors at the nearest elevator floor," said Richard Allen, UC Berkeley Director of Seismology.

BART, along with UC Berkeley seismologists, developed an early warning system back in 2012. BART is the first transit company to adopt such a system.

Many BART riders are pleased with BART making safety a priority and the nation is taking steps to move disaster planning forward.

"I'm glad that the White House is looking into things like that. It's good to know that they are focused more on just things like war," said Omar Allen, BART passenger.

"I think that's good. That's important because if we do have an earthquake, all public transportation will be affected. And if we're on the train, especially we want everything to be safe," said BART passenger, Susan Baruka.

President Obama signed an Executive Order to reduce risks and lower recovery costs.

One of the goals of the summit is to secure funding for this type of technology to be used in other places across the country.

For more on the summit, click here.

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