As part of BART's Fleet of the Future project, in which they'll be phasing out their 40-year-old workhorse train cars -- the oldest in the nation -- with sleeker ones, BART wants rider input on new seating configurations. They're conducting beta testing labs this week and next at various locations.

The labs will also address additional features, such as signage, accommodations for bikes and luggage, and seat materials. The San Francisco lab will be next Wednesday, June 22, at Justin Herman Plaza from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

You can also give them your input on their online comment form, or share photos from your experiences on other transit systems -- what you liked and what you didn't about their trains to [email protected]. Sign up for their e-newsletter to stay updated.

BART would specifically like your feedback on the following questions:

  1. What kinds of seats would you like to see on new BART train cars?

  2. How can BART best accommodate customers using wheelchairs?

  3. How can BART best accommodate customers using bicycles or strollers or carrying luggage?

  4. What types of passenger information should the new cars provide in their on-board displays?

  5. What features do you most like or dislike about trains you've used in other cities? has an informative video about the labs, which is included below. So far, ninety percent of participants said they would prefer narrower seats in exchange for wider aisles. The current seats are 22 inches wide, and respondents said going down to 20 inches would be acceptable. Wider aisles would better accommodate wheelchairs, bikes, strollers, and luggage, resulting in improved arrival and departure times.

[Via FunCheapSF]