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BART Looks To Reduce Delays With $900M Train Control System

OAKLAND (KPIX 5) – Ask any rider the worst thing about BART and you're bound to hear it.

"It's probably delays," said BART rider Jeremy Land.

BART rider Tyanna Reed concurs. "The delays are very disappointing," Reed said.

Behind much of the delays are the brains of BART, an aging train control system that tracks where the trains go and how fast. From January to March of this year, the system was responsible for 997 late trains.

"The way to eliminate that: buy more trains, which we're doing, and then get this new train control system," BART spokesperson Alicia Trost told KPIX 5.

BART officials said a new system would mean fewer delays and less crowding, as trains would be able to run closer together. Instead of 24 trains per hour through the Transbay Tube, BART could run 30 trains.

Another bonus, the new system would put an end to that jerk riders feel every time the train stops. "The new system will let us slow down trains much smoother, not so herky jerky," Trost said.

The system won't be cheap. "It's expensive. It's about $900 million," Trost said.

Some of that money will come from grants and fare increases, but BART hopes a bond measure on the November ballot will bring in the rest.

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