In several new designs -- which are coming out of BART's planning stages for a $3.4 billion project to add 700 new BART cars by 2024 -- the urban and suburban commuter line may finally be doing away with all the stale smelling, 1970s upholstery and carpeting which still characterizes the trains all these years later.

The challenge, of course, is to build cars that are both comfortable for long-haul commuters to Concord and have enough standing-room capacity for the urban portions of train routes. In one design (pictured), the carpeting and upholstery go away completely and a third door is added for entering and exiting in the middle of the train. See other designs at SF Gate, including one that looks suspiciously similar to the current design, only with rubber seat cushions? Anyhow, the first 10 pilot cars wouldn't be delivered until 2014 if all goes according to plan, so don't get too excited.