The US Federal Transit Administration has provided San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) a USD 1.2 billion grant for the Transbay corridor capacity project in San Francisco.
The project will improve capacity on the existing BART heavy rail system between the City of Oakland and downtown San Francisco.
The Transbay corridor capacity project involves a package of strategic investments that will increase train frequencies between San Francisco and Oakland by more than 30 percent, and overall capacity by more than 36 percent.
BART currently has the capacity to operate up to 23 trains per hour in each direction through the Transbay Tube between San Francisco and Oakland. By implementing the project, the number of the trains will increase to up to 30 ten-car trains per hour in each direction, maximizing the throughput in the most heavily used part of its system.
The project includes 306 additional railcars to provide the additional trains needed for the corridor, a new CBTC system that will allow closer headways, a new railcar depot at the Hayward Maintenance Complex to accommodate 25 ten-car trains, and additional six traction power substations with one being installed at the depot to provide the additional power needed for the more frequent service.
In January, BART awarded Hitachi Rail STS a USD 798 million contract to design and deliver the modern CBTC system, replacing the current train control system, which is 47 years old.
BART will require additional cars to make up the added trains and to make longer trains. The authority currently has 775 new rail vehicles on order, which will allow the agency to completely replace its aging fleet of 669 vehicles and to expand the fleet by 106 cars. When this order is completed, BART will be able to provide some additional capacity in the short-term, but will need 306 more vehicles to get to the number of cars required to operate trains more frequently, which is a total requirement of 1,081 cars. Of the 306 additional cars required, 252 are needed for BART to operate 28 ten-car trains per hour on the four lines (Red, Blue, Green and Yellow) that operate through the Transbay Tube to meet the CIG programme goals, and ultimately to run up to 30 trains per hour. The remaining 54 railcars are to increase capacity on the Orange Line which does not operate through the Transbay Tube, and to increase ready reserve trains, which are needed in case delays occur.
The project’s cost is USD 2.7 billion with this funding committed through the FTA’s Capital Investment Grants (CIG) programme. USD 1.53 billion will be covered by local, state and regional matching funds. The Systemwide Core Capacity project is a USD 3.5 billion programme which will expand capacity throughout the entire BART system.