BART Needs $2 Billion Worth of Repairs

Categories: Transportation
BART maintenance is a trainwreck.
More than one-fifth of the equipment BART uses is in poor or shoddy condition -- and fixing it would cost taxpayers at least $2 billion, according to a January report by rthe U.S. Government Accountability Office.

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.

SF Muni rail yard track that is stressed and worn. Track defects can increase the likelihood of derailments.

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.

Follow us on Twitter at @TheSnitchSF and @SFWeekly 


My Voice Nation Help
Sort: Newest | Oldest

Wait a second, that Muni accident in 2009 was a result of an operator switching-off the automated system and running the train in manual. The driver blacked out during the process, thereby crashing into the next train.

That's not the fault of a poor system, the automated system worked fine; the employee messed-up big time.

Now Trending

From the Vault


©2014 SF Weekly, LP, All rights reserved.