BART unveils East Bay line extension to Antioch

ANTIOCH, Calif. (KGO) -- The city of Antioch now feels more like a part of the Bay Area as residents there finally welcomed a BART station. The new line will carry about 2,400 people in each direction, every hour during commute hours.

It's the first time that BART will be using renewable diesel train cars.

"I'm the mayor who got it done. I had nothing to do with it," joked Antioch Mayor Sean Wright during the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

It's the residents of Antioch who deserve much of the credit. Many are celebrating having a state-of-the-art commute option that will get them off the very congested Highway 4.

"I normally drive to Pittsburg BART, but it's so crowded by the time I get there. This is right in my town. I can bike or I can walk here," said a very happy Andre Brewer, who lives nearby.

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But these trains going to and from Antioch are different than the conventional BART trains.

"It's an electric motor and it's using renewable diesel," explained BART Spokesperson Alicia Trost. The trains are better for the environment because they use advanced biofuel produced from sources like vegetable oil, Trost said.

They also ride on a less expensive, standard track gauge, like any ordinary train. This standard track is different than the tracks BART typically uses, which means that people traveling from Antioch have to switch trains at the next platform station, an 11-minute ride away.

"It's the jolly trolly, it's not the actual BART train. We've been paying into it for it for 35 years, 40 years and we should have gotten the real train, instead we have the jolly trolly," said Todd Drummon, who also lives in Antioch.

Most of those who are feeling a little cheated understand why BART opted for plan B. The 10-mile extension cost $525 million. Had they gone with a conventional BART line, it would have cost $1 billion.

As part of the dedication, BART offered free rides on the new extension from 1 to 8 p.m. on Friday. Regular service begins Saturday morning.

VIDEO: Why some people are calling BART gross, dangerous, disturbing
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BART riders are calling the transit service "gross," "dangerous," and downright "disturbing."

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