BART Needs $2 Billion Worth of Repairs
America's public transit facilities have -- for years -- deteriorated faster than agencies have fixed them, the report said. This can result in serious collisions, such as the San Francisco Muni wreck that injured 48 people on July 18, 2009, or the Washington D.C. commuter rail accident that killed nine and injured 52.
SF Weekly asked a BART spokesman to discuss the report -- and the repairs. We will update you when we hear back.
The report found that transit agencies are delaying important repairs that are mere inconveniences, including fixing elevators and ventilation fans. Nationwide, inspectors found decayed and broken electric equipment, bridge supports, and tracks -- all of which put commuters at risk of being injured or killed.
The GAO report did not include Muni in its repair backlog tally; however, inspectors collected data which helped paint a better picture of the nation's overall safety culture and pinpointed needed repairs. Inspectors used worn-down Muni tracks as an example of dilapidated infrastructure that could increase the chances of train derailment.
Despite this massive backlog of repairs, don't assume that cars are safer. Even with billions of dollars in needed repairs, rail transit is still 70 times safer than driving, the report said.
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