BART launches first of fresh fleet

The wait is over for BART passengers.

BART’s first “Fleet of The Future” 10-car train went into revenue service on Friday morning, with many getting a shot on riding the brand-new train.

BART’s new rail cars feature a number of changes inside, including color video screens that highlight the current BART line and stops, a third door, new bike racks, electronic designation signs, and an automated voice announcing the stops.

The new cars will have about five seats less per car due to the installation of a third door, which transit officials will help get passengers off the car faster.

Grace Crunican, BART’s general manager, said in a statement:

“I am thrilled our riders finally get a chance to ride in these cars they helped design,” said

Crunican added:

“These state-of-the-art cars represent a new chapter for BART. Commuters and casual riders alike will notice a huge improvement in their experience.”

The new 10-car train sat in Oakland’s MacArthur Station Friday morning for a ribbon-cutting ceremony with transit officials, politicians and employees, before taking off on the Richmond line.

BART Board President Robert Raburn said in a statement:

“The sight of this new train in service is a sign of a brighter future for BART customers,”

The wait for new rail cars to go into service has been a long time coming. Last November, BART officials suffered a setback during testing of the new rail cars with the California Public Utilities Commission where the doors did not open on all the cars.

BART officials on Wednesday night finally received noticed from the CPUC that they can put the trains into service.

The first 10-car train will run on the Richmond to Warm Springs/South Fremont during the non-peak hours on Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. to midnight, according to BART.

BART officials want the new cars to have some time in the system carrying passengers before they put the cars into service during the commute hours.

There are additional 10 cars in the transit agency’s facilities, which require safety testing and approval from the CPUC before BART puts the carsĀ into service.

BART has 775 cars on order from manufacturer Bombardier. The transit agency expects the arrival of all the cars by the end of 2022.

A new batch of rail cars will arrive next month, according to BART.