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BART Crews Working Overtime To Alleviate 'Crush Loads' Before New Trains Arrive

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) - If you've ever ridden BART during the commute hours, no explanation is needed for the term "crush loads," and maintenance crews are working overtime to put damage trains back in service to alleviate overcrowding.

BART says there are 100,000 more riders than there were five years ago, and while that's good news for the economy, it can make it very tough to find a seat.

BART uses the term "crush loads" for when trains that are meant to carry 115 passengers have around 200 people squeezed in during commutes.

BART has ordered new trains that are expected to help alleviate the crowding, but they won't be in service until the end of 2016.

"The good news is we do have a plan.  The bad news is we're going to have to wait until December of next year before those new trains go out," BART Spokeswoman Alicia Trost said.

Between now and then, BART says they have other solutions, including having mechanics work overtime and weekends to try and get twenty more trains with minor damage fixed, and out of the maintenance yards.

The agency will also fix about a half-dozen severely damaged trains, and rework schedules.

Some riders say the only thing worse than BART lately is driving.

"I'm driving for an hour a day.  So, as bad as it is, I'd rather be on crowded BART than on a crowded freeway in a car," Chris Eidler of Danville said.

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