Members of the San Francisco Bay Area Congressional Delegation are urging their colleagues on the Senate and House Transportation Committees to provide funding for BART’s Fleet of the Future train car replacement project. In a letter to the Committee leadership, the Bay Area lawmakers called replacing BART’s aging train car fleet a "critical goal."
"In these difficult economic times, with contentious congressional debate, it is good to know our Bay Area Congressional delegation supports BART's request for federal assistance to help finance the replacement our train car fleet -- now the oldest active passenger rail cars in the nation, "BART Board President Bob Franklin said. "In addition to this federal support, in order to pay for our Fleet of the Future, we will also need strong local and state support to replace our cars after 40 years of service to this region."
The letter requests that any surface transportation legislation authorization provide $300 million in funding for the purchase of new train cars. The letter is signed by all nine members of the Bay Area Congressional delegation.
According to the American Public Transportation Association, BART's existing fleet is the oldest fleet among large domestic transit agencies. Over the next decade, BART train cars will continue to degrade and become more and more obsolete technologically so BART is working to replace the entire fleet of train cars at a total cost of $3.4 billion.
BART is gathering input on what the public wants in the Fleet of the Future through a series of mobile seat labs. The next seat lab is scheduled for Wednesday, May 11 from 10 am to 2 pm at San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Ave., San Francisco, CA 94132.