SFist hasnt seen "The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3," but after Mondays East Bay BART commute trauma, the flick described as "the Godfather of subway hijacking movies" is definitely moving to the top of our Netflix list!
So around 8 a.m. Monday, lightly-dozing BART commuters on a San Francisco-bound Richmond train at the El Cerrito del Norte stop may have noticed that they werent really moving. A door on one of the trains was malfunctioning, and it took the good transit folks about 10 minutes to get it fixed. Worrying about the effects of a delay on the commuters (and the other commuters waiting for the train, and the entire system in general), a considerate BART official gave the go-ahead to take the train express from MacArthur to San Francisco.
However, what they didnt realize was that not only was one of the doors broken on that train, but that the speaker system was malfunctioning on two or three of the cars as well. Terror-stricken commuters on those cars watched in horror -- horror! as the train zipped by 19th Street -- then 12th Street! then West Oakland! and headed -- straight to the transbay tunnel!! Convinced that the train was under attack, they called BART headquarters and local news media outlets and when they found out it was just an express train, they became, well, pretty upset.
BART, for its part, has profusely apologized for the misunderstanding "It makes us sick that we scared any passengers. We are deeply sorry," says their spokesperson. The spokesperson has also stated there is "no excuse" for the broken speakers, and that the speakers in question have already been fixed.
BART is totally the good transit cop (they're giving out free Peets Coffee on August 25!) to the bad transit cop of MUNI (the terse flashing message: "other trains delayed"). SFist urges us all just to use this opportunity to love the BART that much more in response!