Programming

Transportation

An Update on BART's "Fleet of the Future" and Train Control Modernization Project

BART Warm Springs Opening
Noah Berger

Earlier this year, the blog provided a sneak peek at the long-awaited first new BART rail cars rolling into service around the Bay Area – and, with them, the promise of smoother, quieter, more comfortable and more spacious train rides for commute-weary Bay Area residents. In that post, we went into some detail on MTC’s essential role in funding and supporting BART’s $4.2 billion “Fleet of the Future” project to purchase and deploy 1,081 new rail cars. 

But it’s worth stepping back a bit from the funding mechanics to get a better understanding of the difficult realities that make these new rail cars and other related modernization projects so essential: BART is the region’s backbone for Transbay traffic but the system is way past its intended capacity, it is operating on 45-year old equipment, its geographic footprint is growing, and projected regional housing and job growth patterns suggest future demand will only increase. 

Earlier this month, staff from BART presented to MTC's Programming and Allocations Committee and provided an overview of, and update on, the expansion and modernization projects that BART is undertaking to increase capacity and meet future demand. Read More

Transportation

New BART Train Cars Are Rolling into Service

The entire Bay Area celebrated a major milestone last week as the long-awaited first new 10-car BART train began service in the East Bay on the Richmond line. As you can see in the above video from MTC’s partners at BART, the new cars will be smoother and quieter, with quicker and easier boarding, six digital screens in each car, more comfortable seats and more places to hang on. 

This is riders’ first taste of a decades-long, multi-billion dollar project to replace the aging BART rail car fleet and expand the BART system’s capacity with more rail cars. As you can imagine, making these new cars a reality has been a complex endeavor and MTC, as the nine county Bay Area’s transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency, has been intimately involved every step of the way. Read More

MTC

Preview of 1/10 Meetings: BATA Oversight, Programming and Allocations, etc.

Bay Bridge Toll Plaza
Karl Nielsen

Several MTC and BATA committees will be meeting this upcoming Wednesday, January 10, at the Bay Area Metro Center, including the MTC Administration Committee, the MTC Programming and Allocations Committee, the BATA Oversight Committee, and the Policy Advisory Council.

Of particular note is the BATA Oversight Committee, which will be voting to place Regional Measure 3 on the ballot for this year’s June 5 statewide election. The measure would raise the toll on the Bay Area’s seven state-owned bridges by $1 in 2019, followed by $1 in 2022, and another $1 in 2025. The Mercury News covered the topic earlier today and a recent poll shows strong support for the measure. Read more about how the money from the higher tolls would be used here. Read More