Get ready for a new era, as BART announced yesterday that their forthcoming train cars will be equipped with three doors, eschewing the two-door design to which we're all accustomed. The addition of the third door is expected to greatly reduce boarding and disembarking times.
"The issue we have today is that people are concerned they can't get off a crowded train, so they cluster near the doors," notes Henry Kolesar, a group manager for vehicle maintenance, in a BART press release. "We have to keep the trains moving and keep the schedule to stay on time as best we can."
The third door is expected to help reduce what is known as "dwell time," or the time a train remains at a station.
The new cars will also use a brand-new "micro-plug" door design which, according to BART, should dampen the effect on passengers of the soul-piercing screech emitted by the trains as they pass through the Transbay Tube. The doors resemble a minivan door, in that they "open on the outside of the train in a tiny space, less than an inch outward, and slide open," according to a BART press release. "When they slide back closed again, the seal is tight."
The "Bombardier" cars should begin arriving in December, reports KRON 4, and the agency has ordered 776 of the cars for roughly $2.5 billion.
While the new cars themselves do not allow for increased capacity on a per-train basis, BART notes that "there will be more trains in the fleet, eventually allowing every train to be a 10-car train, and thus increasing actual capacity."