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BART To Suspend Deliveries Of Additional 'Fleet Of The Future' Cars As Manufacturer Works On Reliability

OAKLAND (CBS SF) – Bay Area Rapid Transit announced that it is halting deliveries of its "Fleet of the Future" cars starting in early January, as the manufacturer seeks to improve the train's reliability.

According to an agency statement, deliveries of the trains from Bombardier Transportation will be suspended starting January 8. The suspension, which is expected to last at least 12 weeks, will also alleviate rail storage constraints at maintenance yards.

One issue involves software on the on-board automatic train control system. Officials said the Fleet of the Future cars "routinely stop" while in service. The trains won't move until the operator reboots the system, which leads to delays of 5 to 10 minutes.

Another issue involves the wheels. During wet conditions, officials said the wheels can develop flat spots, which requires cars to be removed from service to perform resurfacing.

BART said the agency will have 290 Fleet of the Future cars by early January, along with 618 cars from the so-called "legacy" fleet. Officials plan to retire the older cars at a slower rate during the suspension.

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