BART Suggestions

BART is getting new trains. The prototype is travelling around the Bay Area. It isn’t perfect. If you’d like to help make it better, visit it in the next few weeks!

You can submit the online survey here.

I spoke with the guy running the event, (Adam? Aaron?) and his response to my first comment was, “That’s why I go to these things, sometimes I hear about important changes.”

Here are my comments:

The LED “destination” sign on the side of the train is currently behind tinted glass. If it was behind clear glass it would be much more visible. Glass makers can certainly make a glass window that is tinted up to a certain place.


Inside the train, one of the vertical handrails near the middle of the train has a collar with a sharp edge that should be curved smoothed over. Maybe this was just a problem with the demo car.

To find the sharp collar, find a single chair, look for the handrail that goes from the chair to the ceiling, look for the connector that goes between the chair and tube, look just above the connector for the collar.


On current trains, the audio “panic” warning (a recorded voice saying “Please stand clear of the doors. The doors are closing”) regularly comes on at the wrong time. The message often sounds while a large number of people are boarding a train. It is very unnerving to hear that message while a crowd is in the middle of boarding at a normal pace. I become worried that the conductor doesn’t see the boarding passengers and will close the door on us. Of course, that doesn’t happen but the purpose of the message isn’t being fulfilled and EVERYONE ignores the message.

Michael Moran at BART Customer Service explained to me that the message is triggered when the normal door dwell period has lapsed. Instead of this, the message should happen when the train operator commands it to.

I’m sure you’ve gotten this complaint thousands of times before I’m sure. From inside the train, 16th and 24th street station look the same. Passengers need to look very closely to be sure they are getting off at the right stop Here are some easy ways to fix it:

– The signs at track level that read “16th Street” and “24th Street” are literally hidden in shadow. If the sign was moved 3 feet closer to the center of the platform, they would be illuminated by the existing station lighting
– The track level signs could be replaced with illuminated signs like at Powell Station.
– The tunnels could be retiled with unique colors like at 12th and 19th Street stations (that’s expensive though)
– A long, narrow strip of unique art could be installed on the tunnel walls


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