Have you been a sweatier, crankier, even more tightly packed sardine during your morning and evening BART commutes lately? Obviously, you're not alone, and part of the problem is BART's aging train fleet, which has been breaking down at inconvenient times just as our population is booming. As CBS 5 is reporting, BART is dealing with peak capacity this month with Oracle Open World, Salesforce's Dreamforce conference, and now the Giants in the playoffs, and at the same time they've got cars out of service meaning that they're running fewer 10-car trains.
Riders at Embarcadero Station are especially screwed in the evening commute east, as most probably already know, with some using the strategy of riding the trains westbound, in the direction of Civic Center, and then crossing the platform to catch the less crowded trains east. Less industrious riders are left standing at Embarcadero and letting multiple trains go by because there's physically no room to get on. (Also, as most former New Yorkers would attest, Bay Area folk are a little too polite and timid in these situations when it comes to pushing themselves into trains, and the middle of the cars almost ALWAYS have room in them.)
As the Contra Costa Times reported a few weeks ago, an example of a problem arising from BART's aging train fleet the oldest commuter rail cars in the nation was an accident that occurred August 26 when a metal wheel came off a moving train at Pleasant Hill station. The incident led to inspections of all BART cars and found that there were defective wheels on 20 cars, which all had to go out of service for repairs.
Then there's the problem of cars overheating, and having the A/C break down.
Anyway, BART is sorry about it. Although they've yet to put out an official release saying they're sorry.