Shorter Richmond/Fremont Trains! Stop the insanity!

The driver on my 6:00 PM Richmond train confirmed today that the Richmond line has been switched to five-car trains.

Prior to the New Year, I noticed that afternoon Richmond trains during the rush were suddenly five, not six-car trains. Not good. Recently, given the number of people on the Richmond line, it seemed like a seven-car train might actually be more helpful during the evening rush.

Not only are there no seats to speak of, people are pushed up against the doors of the train. We're talking Tokyo subway crowded. Moving around at each stop to let people off has become a problem - this likely has added to the amount of time the train is at the stop.

It makes for a very frustrating commute - fellow riders get cranky with each other. You can't read a book or newspaper. You just become a commuting zombie stalking fellow riders who might get off at the next stop.

How do I get BART management to quickly reconsider this change to the Richmond line?


I truly feel your pain. It is ridiculous that it is 2012 and BART keeps reducing service. We go through this every night between 11 and midnight because BART removed an entire train and then cut the last two trains into five car trains. Not fair to night workers at all. BART often times IS NOT on top of it when there is an event so passengers are left with a pit their stomachs as to whether we can even squeeze on a late night train home. After working 8 and 10 hour shifts, sometimes 12, I hate to have to stand and deal with being squished as well all the late night drunken madness on BART. And, on top of that, you get these people still insistent on taking up two seats for their backpacks and luggage. They just won't budge.

Yes, it makes for a very frustrating commute! I'm really surprised BART would do that during the 5:00 p.m. rush hour. Unbelieveable. It is also very unsafe to run the trains that way but I guess BART could give a crap about passenger safety.

One would think BART would have a HEART of some sort.

TreoBART's picture

Those new cars can't come fast enough. As long as BART is continuing to run on this old fleet the car crunch is going to get worse and worse. I wonder how many cars are pulled out of service completely every year?

Actually very few, in my 10 years I've only seen 4 taken out completely, two of them from the derail near the Concord station a few months ago.

TreoBART's picture

Interesting, I would not have expected that. Then again, I guess the shells themselves would have to fail in order to make it necessary to pull them out of service, all the other parts could be replaced. How often do the cars get "rebalanced" between the yards to accommodate traffic on the lines?

The BART website is still showing 669 cars in the fleet, which has been the official number since 1992, when a car was damaged beyond repair in a tunnel derailment.

Are the two cars from last year's Concord derailment going to be repaired or retired?

BART hasn't been in the habit of just sending cars off to the scrap yard because they somehow can't fix them. The only thing that causes disposal of a car is accident damage that is beyond practical repair.

Since inception, 11 cars have been lost due to fire, collision or derailment. All were original A or B cars. No cars have been lost to fire since the fire hardening program was completed in the 1980s.

Anything else that fails or is damaged in the normal course of operation is repaired.

Is some recent failure trend, parts shortage or increased overhaul activity causing a car availability problem or was there a reshuffling of the schedules and train lengths?

Those 2 cars are going to be retired because their bodies are no longer straight.

white06lacrossecxs's picture

Even then I think the only BART cars lost to fire were the one's involved in the Transbay Tube Fire.

"How do I get BART management to quickly reconsider this change to the Richmond line?"

I'd start by complaining to my member of the BART Board of Directors. As elected officials, they're at least nominally accountable to us, the riding public, and therefore have some interest in being responsive. See for all the details.

You could also try contacting BART directly (see, but I imagine that route would get nothing more than a "thanks for the feedback" canned response.

Hope this helps!