BART maps out plan to spend $3.5 billion in bonds

BART officials are preparing to spend some of the $3.5 billion bond that voters in San Francisco, Alameda and Contra Costa counties passed last November — Measure RR.

The BART Board of Directors met Thursday for a special meeting to discuss what projects the bond money will help fund over the next two fiscal years. BART plans to spend the bond money on its aging infrastructure with an emphasis on “urgent fix-it-first needs,” according to a presentation by Tamar Allen, BART’s chief maintenance and engineering officer.

Allen said a big a chunk of the money will go toward replacing BART’s power system. The plan calls to spend $1.225 billion to replace the cables throughout the system, replace 29 power substations, and add two new power substations at Civic Center and Montgomery stations.

Another major project requires spending $625 million on track infrastructure. BART will replace 90 miles of new track, install a new wheel profile interface and rebuild interlockings.

Last year BART began testing “wheel profile” that changed the surface of the wheel for a quieter ride on BART trains for passengers. The interlocking’s on BART’s tracks allows trains to switch in other direction especially during delays, according to BART.

Other projects include spending $570 million repairing BART’s tunnels and structures, including a full retrofit of seven additional sections in the Transbay Tube.

BART also plans to spend some of bond money replacing platform and street escalators, upgrading street station entrances in San Francisco, and upgrading its train control system.

The public can visit BART’s website to read more on what projects the transit agency prioritize with the bond money.