BART Totally Stressed Out From 24-Hour Service, Proving It Can't Handle All-Night Trains

Categories: Public Transit

5720392636_1feb7d4ba3.jpg
Flickr/Izahorsky
Because it's broken
Well, you survived the five-day Bay Bridge closure, and now your commute is back on track, hopefully. The same cannot be said for BART, which could barely withstand the extra 380,000 trips from passengers who relied on the 24-hour service to get around town during the Bay Bridge blackout.

And now, BART is paying for it. The transit agency's oldest-in-the-nation rail cars cranked out an extra 235,000 miles during those five days. So while you got to get hammered in Oakland and still make it home at 4 a.m., BART is suffering the hangover from your five-day party. Now, more than a dozen rail cars have been forced out of service for some much-needed maintenance, according to BART.

That shouldn't come as a surprise, considering commuters experienced double the number of BART failures over the weekend, including doors not opening, overheating rail cars, and stuck windshield wipers.

BART's chief mechanical officer estimates it will take work crews at least a week to catch up on all the maintenance from that 'round the clock service, which amounted to an additional 7,800 hours.

So for all of you night owls who are always pestering BART about running service 24/7, well this is exactly why it can't -- the trains cannot party all night long, even if you can.

Also, BART says, track crews need a chance to work on the system when trains aren't running. "Right now there's a gap of about four hours between when the last trains of the day leave, usually around midnight, and when the first trains of the day start up, around 4 a.m. on weekdays," the transit agency says.

Unlike most large public rail transit systems with multiple sets of tracks on the same routes, BART doesn't have the duplication that would allow the agency to run trains on one set of tracks while performing maintenance on another, according to BART. Third-rail power has to be shut down for maintenance crews to be able to operate safely and do the work that keeps the system safe and reliable. And the trains can't run when the power is down.

Look, BART was never intended to be a 24-hour system. When cost projections were initially developed, the residents who voted to approve BART (hi, mom) supported a transit system with limited hours. Back in the days, BART was even closed on weekends, giving Bay Area party-goers nowhere else to puke and pee except in their own damn car.




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17 comments
Eric Ehrhardt
Eric Ehrhardt

Too bad the operators cannot handle regular demands of the job, despite the hours they are scheduled to work. And they are griping about the pay as it is now?? CA has to get the gumption to pull its head out of its butt and stop bowing to unrealistic groups that have become accustomed to "entitlement by bullying" ...

Rudy Lopez
Rudy Lopez

BS... Other Cities Do it!!... Why Not The Bay Area!! They can But They don't want to,... Thats Why We are always behind in Transportation!!

brookse32
brookse32 topcommenter

What an absurd report.

The concept is patently laughable that it is some sort of surprise that maintenance requirements and a few minor problems increased when BART was used more than it is normally. No shit? Use something more and you have to repair it more. What a profound revelation!

Of -course- wear and tear increased when the system was used more. And notably, there were -no- major crises -whatsoever-. So your argument that BART can't run longer because it had a few minor problems is utter nonsense.

Clearly, the evidence of the past five days shows that by simply adding more funding and some expansion, the BART system could easily run 24/7 just as effectively as it does now.

Todd Ganser
Todd Ganser

Well, what do you want for $100,000 per employee?

Stan James
Stan James

It exposed BARTs pathetic management!

Bubu
Bubu

Everybody who knows BART, knows that the people that work there are more into the jobs than the work at hand. The culture is obvious. The contract negotiations should be an example of this. Unions complicate things. Management can't adequately make data based decisions. I rode BART, and every train I got on was a hot car. Not a safety factor, But testimony to the quality of management!

Krista Ayala
Krista Ayala

The most pathetic and over priced system ever!

dominic.butlerparker
dominic.butlerparker

The bridge was closed, bart riders nearly doubled. bring 24hour service on the weekends.

Christopher Harvey
Christopher Harvey

sure could of used this back in 06 when guns n roses did a show at Oracle that ended @ 3am

Jesse Reyes
Jesse Reyes

The cars burnt out from carrying all that extra weight on all those extra trips.....if 24 hour bart was a real thing, I'm pretty sure the average day's stress on those cars wouldn't be as severe.

Frank G. Mulligan
Frank G. Mulligan

Time for California's 3rd & 4th largest cities to join the 21st century and help business owners increase business (and employee commutes) past 8:00pm.

Nicole Nejati
Nicole Nejati

Most large cities have 24 hour train service, this is a pathetic excuse.

GTFO
GTFO

@Nicole Nejati Do you know how to read? 

The author clearly states that BART isn't designed like other city's with duplicate sets of tracks and it needs to shut down for maintenance to stay safe. 

You should probably move to the "most large cities" you're talking about!


Bubu
Bubu

@GTFO  I agree with what Nicole is saying in regard to the TRAINS...For those trains to be not up to par is reflective of BART management!

GTFO
GTFO

@Bubu 

Explain to me how management is to blame?

BART was never designed to be a 24 hour operation which is why there are complications with it running 24 hours. 

Was that decided by the current BART management?

Would you like a complete OVERHAUL of the train line?

All this bitching is making you guys/gals look pathetic.

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