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Aging BART Car Maintenance Requiring 24-Hour Operation

HAYWARD (KCBS) – It takes mechanics operating 24 hours a day to keep the current fleet of Bay Area Rapid Transit cars on the rails, and it's getting more difficult by the day to keep the fleet operating, according to BART officials.

BART needs to replace 700 cars - a $3.5 billion project - but has money only for the 1st 260, said John McPartland, president of the BART Board of Directors.

In the meantime, crews are forced to work around the clock to keep the fleet on the rails, said McPartland.

KCBS' Bob Melrose Reports:

"It operates on three shifts, 24 hours a day," said McPartland. "Which makes sense if you think about it in relationship to the amount of maintenance that has to be done to keep 90 percent of the fleet on the road every day."

BART plans to award a $1 billion contract for 260 new cars in May. The cars would also have three doors to speed up boarding and reconfigured seating.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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