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We Have Seen the BART Car of the Future and It Is Tall

Don't get too excited—it's going to be a while until you savor that new BART car smell.

The future is coming!
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Empty fake BART seats.
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A row of bikes in the rack prototype.
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People riding the fake BART car.
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A family of three going nowhere.
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3-in-1 vertical poles in action.
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Yesterday night, I BARTed to Macarthur Station to glimpse the future. Today, tomorrow, and Friday from 2-7pm, BART officials are conducting walk-throughs of the BART cars of tomorrow. However, if you're expecting something shiny and metallic-smelling, you may be disappointed. Almost the whole protoytpe is made of plywoood (save for the metal poles and handles). As one BART Director informed me, even if they wanted to make the cars out of wood, it'd be illegal.

So what can we learn from this exercise in diorama-making? Nothing is set in stone yet, but here's what the proposals are. If you play for the Warriors or are Supervisor Scott Wiener, you'll be glad to learn that ceilings will be raised three inches. Other modifications include 10% more standing room (at the cost of 3% of the seats), 3-in-1 vertical poles, and...drumroll racks!

The final design will come out next year and a set of ten test cars will be rolling out in 2015. In 2017, BART will be debuting the first set of in-service cars and in 2023, when you have completely forgotten about this story, the installation of 775 new cars will be finished. That is, unless the entire BART workforce is still on strike. Cross your fingers.

Check out our slide show to see what your future commute will (okay, might) look like.


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