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Guest donaltopablo

BART

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I consider BARTs mass transit system to be a little bit more of an engineering challenge than most cities. Not only does it cross a major bay (which is a task by itself), but it also must (and has) survived major earthquakes. And BART system still seems futuristic compared with most other cities transit systems.

quickplanner_map_sfo_lg.gif

Purposed Oakland International Connection (est. service 2008):

Rendering:

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Map:

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You are right about the futuristic look. I wonder if it is because they kinda with that 70's SciFi look with their trains.

Oh I'm sure the trains look we're picked right after a trip to Tomorrow Land at Disney during the 60s or 70s.

Still very cool and still surprisingly futuristic looking considering it's not a new system. A welcome change for the standard, boxy looking subway systems in most cities.

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I rode BART from SF to Berkeley years ago and enjoyed it very much. Correct me if I am wrong, but the map of the system makes it look more like a commuter rail system than a city subway. It only has a few stops in SF, the rest are in the suburbs. I wonder how often the train runs. Are their any additional lines planned for the city of SF itself? Are 5 car trains the maximum? Does it actually run 1 car trains at times, or is the picture very old?

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BART is very suburban heavy transit system and certainly have limited routes in the city. I'm not sure why, other than to assume that the conditions for tunneling subways must not be good in the rest of SF.

I'm not sure what the deal is with the one car train, all of the ones I've ridden were 4 or 5. It probably depends on route and time of day though.

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In addition to BART, SF has six LRT/subway lines. Most of those are subways along the length of Market St. and resurface around the Twin Peaks area I believe.

There is also a streetcar line along Market.

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Here are some interesting facts about BART :D

BART is the fastest subway in the united states, at about 80 - 90 mph (also the fastest acceleration at 3 m/sec/sec).

Has the highest capacity urban train volume, 1400 (crush load) in a ten car train (no there are NOT any 1 cars trains, thats a service car).

When it opened, the Transbay tube (connecting San Francisco with Oakland under the SF bay) was the longest underwater tunnel in the world (the chunnel wasnt built yet).

Fares are calculated based on distance riden. One must pass their plastic farecard thru the faregates before and after the ride.

Radio frequency ID cards (or contactless fare cards) are in the process of being implemented. BART is the first subway in the US to implement this technology.

BART was recently named "Best Transit System in America" by the Transportation board advisors for its modernization program, 96% punctuality and new extension the to SFO airport.

Extensions in the works:

from fremont to san jose

from richmond to somewhere way out west

geary line extension (possibly then on through the sunset districts)

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You are right about the futuristic look.  I wonder if it is because they kinda with that 70's SciFi look with their trains.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Didnt they use the BART in that George Lucas Movie "THX 1138" ;)

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Here are some interesting facts about BART :D

BART is the fastest subway in the united states, at about 80 - 90 mph (also the fastest acceleration at 3 m/sec/sec).

Has the highest capacity urban train volume, 1400 (crush load) in a ten car train (no there are NOT any 1 cars trains, thats a service car).

When it opened, the Transbay tube (connecting San Francisco with Oakland under the SF bay) was the longest underwater tunnel in the world (the chunnel wasnt built yet).

Fares are calculated based on distance riden. One must pass their plastic farecard thru the faregates before and after the ride.

Radio frequency ID cards (or contactless fare cards) are in the process of being implemented. BART is the first subway in the US to implement this technology.

BART was recently named "Best Transit System in America" by the Transportation board advisors for its modernization program, 96% punctuality and new extension the to SFO airport.

Extensions in the works:

    from fremont to san jose

    from richmond to somewhere way out west

    geary line extension (possibly then on through the sunset districts)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Amazing facts. Btw, what is the length of Transbay tube?

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Actually BART's trainsets are limited to 80mph and frequently do not travel this speed. The average speed of the system is about 32mph. This limitation is mostly due to track conditions.

It should be noted the train sets used in the DC Metro were built by the same firm that initially built the cars for BART and have the same abilities. The DC system also uses a very effective ticketing system that is similar to design of that used in the much larger London and Tokyo systems.

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The DC system also uses a very effective ticketing system that is similar to design of that used in the much larger London and Tokyo systems.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

The BART and DC metro ticketing systems are identical.

If you are referring to DC Metro's Smartrip RFID cards, BART's Translink system is again, identical.

As for average speed, 36 mph is a much higher speed than 22 mph (in NYC) and 28 (in Chicago) due to powerful hybrid acceleration / deacceleration technology. yes the DC metro ALSO has this technology...

PS the transbay tube is 1.3 miles long

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The DC metro also frequently does reach 70mph+ speeds once it hits the suburban portion of its routes.

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BART is very suburban heavy transit system and certainly have limited routes in the city.  I'm not sure why, other than to assume that the conditions for tunneling subways must not be good in the rest of SF.

I'm not sure what the deal is with the one car train, all of the ones I've ridden were 4 or 5.  It probably depends on route and time of day though.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

BART has limited routes in the City because it was desiged to funnel workers from the suburbs into Downtown San Francisco's Financial District. Interesting article about it here:

"Behind the BART Behemoth"

In any case, as a commuter rail it isn't truly successful because the economic center of the Bay Area shifted to Silicon Valley, 40 miles to the south of Downtown and beyond the reach of BART.

Ultimately, BART has been a negative for public transit in the Bay Area. That's because 3/4 of local transit dollars are used to fund BART while SF's MUNI and Alameda County's AC Transit--both of which serve many more commuters more cost effectively than BART--have to split the remaining 25%.

BUT I do have to admit that is uses pretty cool technology! :)

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I must admit I have yet to visit San Francisco since the SFO extension of BART became operational. I find BART a little disappointing in having quite expensive fares and lacking flat-rate (multi-)day travelcards or decent integration with the Muni public transportation. Obviously I have only been to the Bay as a tourist, so my public transportation usage is different than that of a commuter. Not too true actually, San Francisco is a beautiful city to walk across.

All in all BART is pretty decent though, especially for American standards, so thumbs up!

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I find BART a little disappointing in having quite expensive fares and lacking flat-rate (multi-)day travelcards or decent integration with the Muni public transportation.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I'm quite public transit savvy I think, never having owned a car and relying on it all my life. I found the BART fare system to be baffling. I flew into SFO and took a bus to what was then the nearest BART station and rode into the city (I could have taken a bus or taxi straight into the city, but I wanted to ride BART 'cos I'm a geek). I was trying to figure out how I could buy something to let me ride BART and MUNI, the instructions were confusing, the machine was confusing, there was no one there to help. I ended up somehow buying a $20 BART ticket and only ever used it that one time to get into the city. I gave the ticket to one of my friends who lived there when I left.

By comparison, the first time I used a MetroCard Machine in NYC, I had zero problems.

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I'm quite public transit savvy I think, never having owned a car and relying on it all my life. I found the BART fare system to be baffling. I flew into SFO and took a bus to what was then the nearest BART station and rode into the city (I could have taken a bus or taxi straight into the city, but I wanted to ride BART 'cos I'm a geek). I was trying to figure out how I could buy something to let me ride BART and MUNI, the instructions were confusing, the machine was confusing, there was no one there to help. I ended up somehow buying a $20 BART ticket and only ever used it that one time to get into the city. I gave the ticket to one of my friends who lived there when I left.

By comparison, the first time I used a MetroCard Machine in NYC, I had zero problems.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

based on your information, you visited the SF Bay Area before the system rennovation took place. Since then, a station has been built into the SF airpot, the system has replaced every one of it's ticket vending machines, each of which uses a 15in. LCD and accepts any type of payment imaginable. BART has also replaced all of its faregates, and has at least one vending agent at each of its stations. At each ticket vending machine, you can buy a MUNI fastrack card that lets you use BART and MUNI in the city of SF for a month.

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the system has replaced every one of it's ticket vending machines

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Hooray! The ticket machine I used before was truly mind-boggling!

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I must admit I have yet to visit San Francisco since the SFO extension of BART became operational. I find BART a little disappointing in having quite expensive fares and lacking flat-rate (multi-)day travelcards or decent integration with the Muni public transportation. Obviously I have only been to the Bay as a tourist, so my public transportation usage is different than that of a commuter. Not too true actually, San Francisco is a beautiful city to walk across.

All in all BART is pretty decent though, especially for American standards, so thumbs up!

The airport BART station is a great addition, but getting there lugging a suitcase is a bit of a trial.

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Hopefully, BART will ring the whole Bay sometime. Both BART and the Bay Area need it.

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