Metro Magazine

JUN 2014

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

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of the Future," as it is dubbed. Te project is currently in the design and engineering phase. Te agency has 775 railcars on or- der for a total value of approximately $1.5 billion. BART will eventually order a total of 1,000 railcars to increase the number of cars in the feet by 50%, says Weinstein. "We need that to meet the demand of today and the future," he explains. Te frst 10 train cars will arrive in 2015 for testing. In 2017, BART will receive the frst train cars for passenger service, with the last cars arriving in 2023. "When these cars start rolling in 2017, we're expecting to have over 100 new cars in the frst year, and that's going to be a sig- nifcant increase in the size of our feet," Weinstein says. BART will keep most of the old cars running until the fleet is built up to a larger number, and then, begin to retire the old ones. In that frst year, BART cus- tomers will begin to get some relief from crowded conditions in the peak periods, he says. "We'll be able to take six-, seven- and eight-car trains and make them longer and a companion project to upgrade our control systems will allow us to run trains closer together as well," Weinstein says. With the ultimate goal to order 1,000 cars, BART will increase the number of seats in the system and the feet by 38%. PUBLIC OUTREACH Prior to the contract with Bombardier, BART started a public outreach and de- sign process to elicit feedback from its customers. "It's important to get it right, because it's something you'll live with for a long, long time," Weinstein says of the decision to get customer input. Conditions have changed since the original BART cars were designed, while ridership on the system, as well as cur- rent technologies, have also changed dramatically. "We wanted to take advantage of all the technological options that are avail- able today, such as modern materials, passenger information systems and en- ergy efciencies, like LED lighting," Wein- stein says. After going through a conceptual de- sign phase, BART invited the public to 24 < m ETRO m AGAZINE JUNE 2014 BART RAILCAR FLEET Feedback on the original BART cars helped inform the development of the initial design. Items customers disliked about the original cars include: • CLOTH SEATS AND CARPETED FLOORS Problem: Because they got dirty and were difficult to maintain. Fix: BART will go with non-carpet flooring and vinyl covered seats that are easy to wipe down. • DIFFICULTY DETERMINING NEXT STOP Problem: The old PA system was hard to hear; sometimes train operators didn't announce stops and shaded windows made it difficult for riders to see outside. Fix: The new cars will include six interior digital LCD screens that will display the system map, next stop and transfer information, as well as travel advisories and other announcements. LED screens displaying next-stop information will equip each end of the car. • DISCOMFORT ON CROWDED, HOT DAYS Problem: The original BART cars were designed for seated people, because the system wasn't crowded, so air came up along the windows of the seats. Fix: In the new cars, air will be distributed up and down the car at ceiling level, so it will also let standees feel comfortable in crowded cars on hot days. • NOISE FACTOR Problem: The current style pocket doors that slide into the wall contribute to a noisy ride because they do not adequately block out noise from outside the train and they can rattle as the train travels through tunnels. Fix: The new doors will utilize micro-plug door technology, which slides on a track outside the train, similar to a mini-van door. This design will dampen the amount of noise that reaches the inside of the train, as well as provide better thermal insulation, making the cars more comfortable on very hot or cold days. CUSTOMER FEEDBACK give feedback on what they like and don't like about the old cars (see sidebar) and also provide information about other sys- tems they've traveled on, Weinstein says. Upon doing so, the agency had better clarity about what it wanted when it be- gan the formal design and engineering process with Bombardier. Since the project began in 2009, BART has collected feedback on current and proposed designs via email, online sur- veys and public events, where customers were able to test out design mockups. One such event included a seat lab conduct- ed last fall, where customers were able to test seats from different transit systems as a way to get early input on seat design. "We brought in seats we borrowed from Washington, L.A. and Boston and invited customers to try them out," Wein- stein says. "We also tested diferent seat dimensions. Tere were surveys associ- ated with that as well as a lot of one-on- one discussions." In July 2013, 5,000 people toured a full-scale model of the train interior at MacArthur station to provide feedback. Based on the input from that event, Bombardier implemented vehicle im- provements for a current mockup that was unveiled for a series of events in May 2014. Customers were able to test out design mockups of the new railcar.

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