You Think It's Hot Outside, Try Cramming Onto a Stinky BART Train

Now we know why there's no real public transit in Houston
If you've ever wondered how grossly oppressive the heat and humidity is in places like Houston, Texas, just hop on a crowded BART train in the blistering heat with no air conditioning -- then you will have experienced it -- kind of.

Or, you could just stick a dirty, wet mop in your own face; then you'll definitely get it.  

As many of you transit-savvy passengers might have noted, BART doesn't have air conditioning on all its cars. On most days, that detail would go relatively unnoticed. But this week BART staff is feeling the heat as Bay Area denizens gripe about the damning temperatures outside.

See also: Human Poop and Pee Clog BART Escalators

"The heat can wreak havoc with the air conditioning units on some of our train cars. We are working hard to incorporate new technologies which will add capacity to the air conditioning system," said Chief Mechanical Officer Tamar Allen. "In the meantime, we are doing everything possible to keep trains running as smoothly as possible when extraordinary heat occurs. We have targeted resources to respond to heat-related failures as quickly and efficiently as possible."

So, here's some really unhelpful advice on how to stay cool while riding BART on these (relatively) sweltering days.

  • If you are on a BART car that seems to have no air conditioning at all, you can use the intercoms on either end of the train to let the train operator know (the car number is located at either end of the car above the door) so the problem can be reported for maintenance attention.

  • Climate control in each car is independent, and automated, so the temperature can't be adjusted by an individual train operator, but he or she can report the problem.

  • Try moving to another car. Because the climate control is separate in each car, you may find a more comfortable spot just one car over.

  • Follow safety rules such as not holding doors open, which can damage the equipment and cause delays.

  • Practice courtesy such as moving to the center of the car so others can board, and clearing specially designated seats for seniors and people with disabilities.

  • If you have an important connection to make -- such as an airline flight -- consider taking a train earlier than you normally would to build in extra time in case of heat-related delays.

But really, don't sweat it; the temperatures are expected to drop back down to the usual Bay Area 60s just in time for the weekend.

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Bonnie Blake
Bonnie Blake

The MTA is leagues beyond BART -consistent air conditioning and a stronger police force who is now also busy dealing with iPhone and iPad thefts.

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