Watch CBS News

BART Awaiting CPUC Approval Before Rolling Out New Passenger Cars

OAKLAND (CBS SF) -- Ten new BART passenger cars could be in service in the near future once they receive the approval of state regulators, a transit agency spokesman said Friday.

BART spokesman Jim Allison said the long-awaited cars have finally passed internal testing and now would be given a test run by engineers from the California Public Utilities Commission.

"We have a 10-car test train that has been fully tested by us," he said. "We're confident that we are ready so we're just working with the California Public Utilities Commission to schedule a time where they can ride it and inspect it."

It will be the second time that CPUC officials have given the new cars a run through. They failed during a test conducted before Thanksgiving when the train operator could not open all the doors.

BART engineers worked with the train manufacturer, Bombardier, Inc., to identify and correct the problems.

New BART Car Hayward
New "Fleet of the Future" BART car being shown in Hayward. (CBS)

Once the agency is given the approval to run the 10 cars on the test train, it will focus on getting 8 additional new cars up to the standards needed to put them into service.

Allison said two more new cars were in the process of being shipped to the agency.

"The new cars can only work with new cars," Allison said. "You will not be seeing trains that are half old cars and half new cars."

new BART train
New BART train interior (CBS)

BART received the first new cars in March of 2016 and are at least 17 months behind schedule because of a series of glitches and modifications that had to be made.

New BART train car crash
New BART train car crashes during test run at Hayward track on April 22, 2016 (CBS).

BART officials are replacing the cars because they are at the end of their 40-year useful life. The agency is expecting to replace its entire fleet with 775 new cars by 2021.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.