BART is in trouble, but it's not the lack of security cameras or overcrowding that has thrown a wrench in the system this time around. Rather, an as-of-yet unidentified problem in the Transbay Tube is damaging BART cars as they pass eastward, forcing them out of service. Monday alone 40 cars had to be pulled from trains after whatever is going on damaged elements of the cars' propulsion systems.
This is not a small problem for the agency, which the Chronicle reports has been forced to run shorter trains as a result of the mysterious damage. On Wednesday, notes the paper, BART could not meet its own minimum number of 552 operating cars.
“We do have a problem,” Jim Allison, a spokesman for BART told the paper. “We determined where it is occurring, but we have yet to determine why it is happening.”
As of today, a total of 80 cars have been damaged and pulled from service.
This lack of trains, of course, only exacerbates the problem of overcrowding. With that in mind, and with no fix in sight, perhaps it is time to take another look at the agency's "crowded car survival guide" issued almost exactly a year ago today (note the sweet background music). Its tips, like "fill empty space towards the middle of the car," are sure to be a life-saver.