Metro Magazine

JUN 2014

Magazine serving the bus and rail transit & motorcoach operations since 1904

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Page 25 of 63

Te strong economy in the San Francis- co Bay Area, due in part to the abundance of high-tech jobs and the cultural shift toward a more transit-oriented lifestyle, are proving to be a boon for the Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART), so much so that ridership on the system has been on a steady uptick for several years. 22 < m ETRO m AGAZINE JUNE 2014 Bombardier Transportation/Morelli Design Prior to the contract with Bombardier, BART started a public outreach and design process, collecting feedback on current and proposed designs via email, online surveys and public events, where customers were able to test out design mockups. BY JANNA STARCIC, Executive Editor BART Reaches Out to Customers to Get its 'Fleet of the Future' Right Based on customer feedback, the train interior layout is designed to maximize seating, openness and comfort within the available space. RIDERSHIP GROWTH, AGING FLEET Despite this good fortune, BART is hav- ing difficulty meeting demand. Week- day ridership is projected to increase to 500,000 in the next five years and one million in the next 40 years, according to BART data. "Our ridership has grown a lot over the last decade, we need more capacity," says Aaron Weinstein, BART's chief market- ing ofcer. Additionally, the system is running the oldest railcar feet in the U.S., with an av- erage age of more than 30 years. Although the oldest cars have since been rehabili- tated, they, along with their newer coun- terparts, will reach the end of their useful life soon. Tis coupled with the growing ridership demands prompted BART to purchase new railcars. "Most of the railcars BART is running today are the original cars [from] when the service was launched in 1972," Wein- stein says. "So, that's the strongest impe- tus for the purchase of the new railcars." 'FUTURE' FLEET PLAN In 2012, BART chose B ombardier Transportation to build its "Fleet

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