Archive for the ‘BART’ Category

Weekend BART delays between Orinda and Walnut Creek 8/17-18, bus bridge, and Highway 24 lane closures

Friday, August 9th, 2019

There will be no single-tracking or track closures due to this project for the weekend of August 10-11.  However, there will be overnight lane closures on eastbound Highway 24 near the Lafayette Station.  You can get more details here. The first weekend track shutdown between Orinda and Walnut Creek stations is scheduled for the weekend of August 17-18.

We are making extensive repairs and upgrades to the track between Orinda and Walnut Creek stations on most weekends through October, including some upcoming full weekend closures with bus bridges.   Using Measure RR funds, we’ll be replacing track and electrical equipment, installing new switches, improving station platforms, and making other repairs and improvements to provide more reliable, safer, quieter, smoother and faster service.

Closure weekends: 8/17-18, 8/31-9/2 (Labor Day Weekend), 9/14-15, 9/28-29, 10/12-13, 10/26-27

Riders should expect delays of 40 minutes or more on closure weekends.

County Connection and AC Transit will provide free shuttle bus services:

  1.    Direct service between Orinda and Walnut Creek
  2.   Service between Orinda, Lafayette, and Walnut Creek stations.

Single-Tracking
Single-tracking on some Saturdays will mean delays of up to 30 minutes. Please plan your trip with that in mind. We will single-track on 7/27, 8/3, 8/24, 9/7, 9/21, and 10/19.  We may need to turn back some trains at Orinda to maintain our schedule. If so, you will be asked to leave the train you are on and board a different train to reach your destination.

Highway 24 Lane Closures

On select weekends including single-tracking Saturdays, we plan to close the two eastbound lanes on the far-left side of Highway 24 near the Lafayette Station and Oak Hill Road to allow equipment and material to be placed near and in our tracks. The next lane closure is scheduled for 11 pm Friday August 9 and will continue until 7 am Saturday August 10.  The two eastbound lanes of 24 will also be closed Saturday August 10 at 11pm until 9 am Sunday August 11.

Lane closures for single-tracking Saturdays will only happen during overnight hours from 11 pm Friday to 7 am Saturday and 11pm Saturday to 9 am Sunday.  All lane closures will happen near the Lafayette Station at Oak Hill Road.

Night Work

We will also do work at night after service closes on weeknights through at least the end of October.

Sunday single tracking in San Francisco

On select Sundays through the rest of this year, there will be single-track service between the Embarcadero and 24th Street Mission stations in downtown San Francisco due to electrical cabling replacement work.  This replacement project is critical to ensure our trains can count on a reliable power supply. The work can add 15-30 minutes to your trip. Get the latest on this project here.

Use the Trip Planner, call the BART Transit Information Center at (510) 465-BART (2278), or get the Official BART app to plan your trip.

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Take the BART survey on Antioch Station bicycle-pedestrian bridge across Hwy 4

Saturday, June 22nd, 2019

BART is exploring interest in a bicycle-pedestrian bridge across Highway 4 to the south of the Antioch station which would connect the surrounding neighborhoods to the station.

We would like to know if you think this bridge would help you get to that station.

English Survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/28FTF2G

Spanish survey here https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DBTW5NJ

¡Nos interesa su opinión! BART está explorando el interés en un puente para peatones y bicicletas sobre la Ruta Estatal (State Route, SR) 4, hacia el sur de la estación Antioch.

Nos gustaría saber si, en su opinión, este puente le ayudaría a llegar a esa estación. Por favor visite el siguiente vínculo para completar una breve encuesta.

Encuesta de ingles aqui: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/28FTF2G

Encuesta española aqui: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DBTW5NJ

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BART Board approves $2.3 billion budget prioritizing safety and quality of life

Tuesday, June 18th, 2019

Will hire 19 more police officers, four fare inspectors

The BART Board of Directors has approved a $2.3 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) which begins July 1, 2019. The budget focuses on expanding and investing in Quality of Life issues, including the addition of 19 police officers and four unarmed fare inspectors.

“This budget is designed to make BART safer,” said BART Board President Bevan Dufty. “Adding officers and establishing a community ambassador program shows our riders that we’ve heard their concerns and we’ve taken action.”

Quality of Life

Including funds added in FY20, since FY14 BART has spent $59 million on new budget initiatives addressing Quality of Life challenges in the areas of safety, fare evasion prevention, cleanliness and homelessness. The FY20 budget supplements and continues Quality of Life initiatives added in prior years. Among the highlights:

  • $2.1 million towards 19 additional police officers.
  • $500,000 to fund four additional fare inspectors.
  • $2 million to continue funding efforts to address the impacts of regional homelessness in the BART system, including outreach programs, elevator attendants and Pit Stop restrooms.
  • BART station hardening efforts are incorporated into many projects and programs throughout the District, using operating and capital funds. In FY20, $2.4 million of new and ongoing funds ($400,000 of new FY20 operating funds augments $600,000 of prior year parking revenue held in reserves and $1.3 million of capital staffing) will support station hardening projects, including raising railings and securing swing gates. Additionally, BART directs grant funds to station hardening, including federal formula funds for the fare gate modification program and often redirects existing engineering and maintenance staff to projects such as the fare gate cinch modification program as well as the camera upgrade program. BART’s Station Modernization Program also incorporates elements of station hardening in design, guided by the BART Facilities Standards. Six stations in the Station Modernization Program are spending or will spend a combined $16 million on station hardening elements. In addition, the $61 million Market Street Escalator Canopies project includes installing roll-up grilles at the street level, security cameras and handrail lighting. In summary, station hardening is a substantial, multi-year systemwide effort, leveraging new and existing operating and capital funds from a variety of sources into a wide range of projects.

System reinvestment

The new budget dedicates $1.4 billion for capital programs, a 5% increase from FY19 with the largest portion (46%) coming from Measure RR funds. The use of Measure RR funding for FY20 is increasing as projects anticipate moving from design and pre-engineering to construction. Most of the capital budget (69%) is directed to reinvestment in the system. The use of previously awarded and current federal funds has increased as BART ramps up on train control modernization, state of good repair projects and continues the delivery of new rail cars. FY20 projects include:

  • $101 million for station modernization and elevator/escalator improvements across the system, including replacement of escalators at downtown San Francisco stations, and station modernization efforts at El Cerrito Del Norte, 19th Street, Downtown Berkeley, Concord, Powell, and Pittsburg/Bay Point stations. The station modernization program also includes many elements of station hardening.
  • $303 million is budgeted for expenses related to the procurement of 775 new rail cars
  • $151 million towards the continuation of a multi-year program of traction power infrastructure replacement, including replacement of traction power cables in San Francisco and in Alameda County.
  • $71 million towards the Hayward Maintenance Complex, a modern facility to maintain the new rail cars.
  • $86 million for planning and engineering for the Train Control Modernization Program and for renewing components of the existing train control system, including transformers, switch machines and speed encoding equipment at stations.
  • Fare changes
  • A 5.4% inflation-based fare increase will take effect on January 1, 2020 as part of a program first approved by the BART Board in 2003 and renewed for a second series in 2013. This is the last of four biennial fare increases called for under the 2013 series. The BART Board also approved a third series of inflation-based fare increases that will go into effect in 2022, 2024 and 2026.  This latest series will follow the same inflation-based formula as the previous increases.
  • BART will participate in the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s Regional Means-Based Fare Discount Pilot Program. The program will offer a 20% discount per trip to adult riders earning 200% or less of the federal poverty level. The FY20 budget assumes one-half year of the pilot with an estimated revenue loss of $2 million after the MTC’s estimated offsetting annual contribution to BART of approximately $2 million.

Revenue and ridership challenges

The FY20 budget is balanced and includes $17 million in budget cuts made by all departments in the district.

Fare revenue is BART’s largest source of revenue, with $479 million of rail fare revenue forecast in FY20, a decrease of $5.6 million from FY19, reflecting a lower ridership forecast. Other operating revenue is forecast to be $10 million lower due to one-time revenues in FY19 not budgeted in FY20. These decreases are offset by increases in financial assistance, particularly sales taxes. Sales taxes are BART’s largest form of financial assistance budgeted at $277 million for FY20 a 3.2% growth over FY19

We take a conservative approach to projecting ridership for our FY20 budget. We are concerned about the length of this current economic expansion and the potential for a downturn in the future, which could impact ridership.

Service improvements

The budget includes funding for service enhancements that will ease crowding. Most notably, by February of 2020 we expect to have 160 Fleet of the Future train cars which will allow us to run all 10-car trains on the four Transbay routes. As we increase the number of Fleet of the Future cars, we will begin retiring legacy cars, which should increase reliability and reduce maintenance costs.

Silicon Valley Berryessa Extension fares

Along with approving the FY20 budget, the BART Board of Directors voted unanimously to establish a fare structure for the Silicon Valley Berryessa Extension.  BART’s existing distance-based fare structure will be used to calculate trip fares on the 10-mile extension from the Warm Springs/South Fremont Station to Berryessa Road in San Jose.  This is in accordance with the comprehensive agreement between BART and the Valley Transportation Authority.  The extension includes stops in Milpitas and Berryessa/North San Jose.

Ambassador program

Though not part of the FY20 budget, $500,000 in additional anticipated revenue from the FY19 budget will be set aside to fund an ambassador pilot program.  BART is in talks with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission to seek matching funds for the program.

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Fleet of the Future BART cars to be assembled in Pittsburg

Saturday, June 15th, 2019

Fleet of the Future BART car at the Pittsburg assembly plant during the recent press conference. Photo by BART.

Bombardier Transportation announced it is opening a rail car assembly site in Pittsburg, California to assemble BART’s Fleet of the Future rail cars.  This work, which is currently taking place in upstate New York, will be transferred to the Bay Area over the coming months.

The new facility will employ local workers, contribute tax dollars to the local economy and, thanks to its proximity to BART’s Hayward Test Track, greatly reduce the vehicle emissions needed to transport the cars to BART property.

What used to be a 3,600-mile journey home to the Bay Area, will now be a quick 50 miles.

It also means local jobs.

“It’s Bay Area workers building cars for Bay Area commuters,” said BART Director Mark Foley. “Bringing the work home.”

Watch the Press Conference

Riders are giving the new trains high marks for its new features and design. The customer survey results were unveiled at a recent Board meeting. The vast majority of features received at least 85 percent “Excellent” or “Good” grades.

Some of its most well-received features were the ease of on-board and off-boarding the train; lighting; audio announcements; floor-to-ceiling poles; comfortable air temperature; and digital displays.

BART’s website dedicated to the Fleet of the Future has lots of great information about the status of the roll out. They keep it updated with the number of new cars delivered to date and the number in service.

A Fleet of the Future tracker is in the works that will show you if one of the next approaching trains at your stations is a new train. That feature will roll out in phases, to eventually include digital platform signs, bart.gov, and the BART Official App, which you can download for free.

 

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BART’s February schedule change will impact weekdays and Sundays

Thursday, January 17th, 2019

BART is making major schedule changes beginning February 11th to accommodate Measure RR funded improvements to our infrastructure to keep BART safe and reliable. Projects to upgrade our electrical power system in downtown San Francisco and the Transbay Tube Seismic Retrofit require adjustments to our schedules. The Fleet of the Future roll out is also allowing us to expand some service and run longer trains.

Riders are encouraged to check before you go. Download the official BART app or check the Trip Planner to see how these changes impact your trip.

Weekday Changes

To retrofit the Transbay Tube, we need to open at 5am on weekdays- that’s one hour later. Visit www.bart.gov/earlybirdexpress for bus service alternatives during the 4am hour. We will also be single-tracking trains through the Tube on weeknights for this project. Impacts from this project include:

  • Weekdays after 9pm, trains will run every 24 minutes instead of 20 because of single tracking.
  • On Friday evenings, trains will be added to the schedule after 8pm to the Green, Red, and Yellow lines to reduce wait times and increase capacity.
  • The first train from Daly City (5:03 am) to Antioch will skip from MacArthur directly to Pittsburg/Bay Point. The train will not pick up or drop off passengers between these stations. The next train from Daly City (5:11 am) will make all stops.

·         Weekday service improvements include:

  • New direct Millbrae to SFO service on weekdays from 6:30 am to 9 pm every 30 minutes.
  • Early morning/late-evening trains will now be longer.
  • A Fleet of the Future train will run as part of the schedule on each transbay line and some trains will be lengthened thanks to the arrival of the new fleet.
  • We are adding an additional Yellow Line train to the morning commute and we will extend one late afternoon train from Pleasant Hill to Pittsburg Bay Point.
  • New Richmond-Daly City (Red) and Warm Springs-Daly City (Green) trains on Friday evenings at select times.

Sunday Changes

To upgrade the electrical power system in Downtown San Francisco from 8am-6pm, we need to single track trains in San Francisco on some Sundays. We will maintain 20-minute headways, but impacts include:

  • For the most part, only one line (the Antioch/Yellow Line) will provide service through the Transbay Tube (some direct Red and Green line trains will be part of the schedule at select times).
  • Sunday service changes vary week to week and riders are encouraged to check the Trip Planner or the official BART app before each trip to see the service plan.
  • Dublin/Pleasanton/Blue Line service will operate between Dublin/Pleasanton and MacArthur.
  • All Lake Merritt-Dublin/Warm Springs Transbay riders must transfer at 12th Station—go downstairs one level.
  • All Millbrae riders must transfer to/from a San Francisco/Antioch train at SFO.

·         Sunday service improvements include:

  • Yellow Line passengers transferring to an East Bay line should transfer at MacArthur and will now have increased service with both a Blue and Orange Line train depending on destination.
  • Additional trains/train length will be added to the Orange/Richmond/Warm Springs service.
  • New direct Red and Green line trains added to the schedule on Sundays at select times.

There are no changes to Saturday service.

Check Before You Go

The new schedule has been loaded into the Trip Planner on bart.gov as well as the official BART app. Select a date Feb. 11th and beyond to see how these changes impact your trip. 

Sunday riders are encouraged to check the Trip Planner or the app before each trip as it varies week by week based on single tracking weekends.

The extra Friday service will be reflected in the Trip Planner and in Real Time Departures.  However, these extra trains are not listed in the Schedule by Station or Schedule by Line sections of bart.gov or the printed brochures. 

Sunday’s new Red and Green line trains will be reflected in the Trip Planner, and Schedules by StationSchedules by Line and Real Time Departures. They are not listed in the printed brochures because they vary week by week.

Sunday Service Map: 

Millbrae Shuttle Service weekdays and Saturday:

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BART Police offer new details, boost in reward for 2016 killing of Antioch teen at West Oakland Station

Friday, January 11th, 2019

Suspect in the shooting death of an Antioch teen at the West Oakland BART Station on Jan. 9, 2016. Photos by BART.

Suspect believed to have strong ties to Antioch area, goes by first name Matty,  father’s first name believed to be Vic or Victor

The BART Police Department is releasing new information about the killing of 19-year-old Carlos Funez-Romero, who was fatally shot aboard a BART train stopped at the West Oakland Station on January 9, 2016.  The department is also announcing the reward for information leading to the arrest of the suspect is being increased from $10,000 to $25,000. (See related KRON4 news report)

Detectives with the BART Police Department have been following up on multiple leads as well as working closely with partner law enforcement agencies to identify and locate the suspect.  Investigators now believe the suspect has strong ties to the Antioch area and goes by the first name of Matty.  Detectives also believe the name of the suspect’s father is Vic or Victor.

“We are encouraged by the recent progress we’ve been able to make and are fully committed to bringing this suspect to justice,” said BART Police Chief Carlos Rojas. “Homicides very rarely happen on our system, but when they do we will find those responsible as proven by the arrests made in connection with all three homicides we had last year.” 

The investigation into the killing of Funez-Romero has remained active for three years.  Chief Rojas in June boosted the effort to find the suspect by assigning an investigator to the case full time.  That’s on top of other BPD resources that have been dedicated to solving this case.

The suspect is a black male who is 6’0” to 6’4” tall.  At the time of the murder he had a bald-shaved/or close-cut hair style, slim build, and was wearing a green hooded jacket with beige, construction-style boots.

Before the killing of Mr. Funez-Romero, there had not been a homicide on the BART system since February of 2013.

Anyone with information on this case is strongly urged to immediately call the BART Police Department at 510-464-7040 or the anonymous tip line at 510-464-7011.

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Payton Perspective: Re-elect Joel Keller to BART Board

Saturday, November 3rd, 2018

Joel Keller at Antioch BART Station opening 5-25-18. Photo by Allen Payton

By Allen Payton, Publisher

Usually, I don’t recommend elected officials serving in the same office for 24 years, such as Joel Keller, who was elected to the BART Board on the same night in November 1994 that I was elected to the Antioch City Council. That’s because elected representatives tend to become complacent or arrogant in office and stop listening to their constituents, and end up doing the bidding of the powerful, special interests who support them and contribute to their re-election campaigns.

However, Joel is different. Having served on the Contra Costa Transportation Authority and three of the four transportation boards in East County, including as Chairman of the Bypass Authority in 1998 when we purchased the right-of-way for the State Route 4 extension (aka The Bypass) from Lone Tree Way to Balfour Road, I’ve learned the difficult lesson that infrastructure projects can take a long time. Too much time for most all of our liking. But, that’s another issue. My point is, it’s taken that time for Joel to get BART extended to Antioch.

Although it’s not full or “real” BART, as we Antioch residents would have preferred, the bottom line is Joel was able to wade through the funding limitations from BART and the federal government, as well as the opposition by other regions in the BART District and directors who represent those regions and make his promise and commitment a reality. Antioch has a BART station. During his next four years, if re-elected, I believe Joel will be able to help deliver further extensions in East County, first to Laurel Road – which will benefit Antioch’s economic development area for job creation and serve the residents of Oakley – then to Brentwood near Sand Creek Road.

Joel has done what he said he would do, and he listens to his constituents. Most recently, Joel heard the complaints about safety on the BART system. In order to ensure the rest of the board members heard the complaints from the people in his district who can’t attend their normal day time meetings in Oakland, had the board hold a night time meeting in Pittsburg. Then, due to the overwhelming response by riders to the opening of the Antioch BART Station, Joel heard the outcry for more parking spaces, and he delivered by getting the other BART Board Members to join him in voting to fund 800 more spaces.

I believe Joel has earned one more term on the BART Board, which most likely will be his last, and recommend we re-elect him.

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BART identifies funding to add over 800 parking spaces at the Antioch Station

Sunday, October 28th, 2018

eBART train at the Antioch BART Station. Photo by BART.

Construction would begin in fall of 2019 with the new lot opening in fall of 2020

With full funding identified, BART is moving ahead with plans to nearly double the amount of parking at the Antioch Station.

The station has been a tremendous success since opening in late May and that has pushed the demand for parking in Antioch far beyond the space available.

Antioch Station currently has 1006 parking stalls. Another 800-plus spaces will be added under this plan.

“The response to the extension has been overwhelmingly positive, except for criticism about the lack of parking,” says BART Director Joel Keller, who represents East Contra Costa County. “We’ve made it a priority to ensure that every rider has access to the new service which takes drivers off the congested Highway 4 corridor.”

The plan calls for converting a plot of BART-owned land just east of the current lot into more than 800 additional parking spaces. 

The current daily ridership for the Antioch Station is 3,050 while the forecasted ridership before its opening was 2,270 trips.

The proposed parking lot cost is $16.4 million. Funding sources include the Contra Costa Transportation Authority, BART, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the East Contra Costa Regional Fee and Financing Authority.

BART will now work on the environmental impact and design.

Approval by the BART Board is required with the plan expected to go before Directors in late 2018 or early 2019.

Construction would begin in fall of 2019 with the new lot opening in fall of 2020.

 

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