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Disabled Train, Medical Emergencies Trigger Major BART Delays

OAKLAND (CBS SF) -- BART service has been plagued by persistent delays Monday after two medical emergencies, a track problem and a disabled train that
stopped transbay service for more than 30 minutes, transit agency officials said.

The delays in service quickly filled platforms at BART stations all along the East Bay lines.

Transit officials said that at 6:45 a.m. a Richmond bound train got stuck in an interlocking area called the "Y" just outside of the Transbay Tube near the West Oakland station.

"It broke down in the worst possible position that we rebuilt last year," said BART spokesman Jim Allison. "And so the interlocking itself was in great shape. Unfortunately the train was not in great shape."

About 60 people who were on board the disabled train got off at 12th Street and boarded another train.

BART crews were inspecting the area where the train broke down to make sure no equipment was damaged. The stalled train will also be inspected once it is taken to a maintenance yard to try to find out the cause of the problem.

While traffic into San Francisco started moving through the system around 7:30 a.m., delays were expected to linger.

Two medical emergencies were also reported on separate trains at the Lake Merritt station.

Another problem occurred at the Lake Merritt station when a malfunctioning track switch at a "Y" had to be cranked into the proper position

"It took us some time to do that," Allison said.

The delays frayed on nerves of commuters on jammed-packed trains.

Riders took to social media to comment on the delay.

"This will have made me about two hours late for work" said frustrated commuter Michelle Reyes, who was stuck at the West Oakland station. "I had a friend who essentially just called out sick today because it is just too much of a delay to get in."

BART spokesman Allison apologized on behalf of the agency.

"Any kind of delay is an inconvenience and may cost people money, but when it's a major delay, it is even worse, so we would like to apologize for that," he said

BART officials say the $3.5 billion bond measure passed in the fall will eventually help fix the problems triggering delays. But for now, riders will have to pack their patience.

"Until we get everything rebuilt, we are going to have a period where we will have major delays," said Allison. "We have these breakdowns just due to age of the system."

TM and © Copyright 2017 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

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