BART's Board of Directors approved the purchase of 35,000 new hanging hand straps at their meeting this morning, a move that will up the number of straps in each car from 30 to 80.
The vote on the strap addition was one of the first items on today's BART Board agenda, and BART spokesperson Alicia Trost tells SFist that the vote went off without a hitch, with the Board approving the allocation of $311,850 for the new straps.
The contract to provide the straps was advertised back in March, Trost says, but only one company made a bid: Philadelphia-based Bentech, which says they can provide the straps for $8.10 each (you can see their full proposal here).
District 3 BART Board rep Rebecca Saltzman seemed especially psyched about the vote, saying last night on Twitter that "I'm so excited that we're voting at tomorrow's #bartmg to increase overhead hand straps from 30 to 80 per BART car....I'm short & can't reach overhead bars, and sometimes can't find available hand strap."
If you don't know me in person, I'm short & can't reach overhead bars, and sometimes can't find available hand strap pic.twitter.com/5WIcCtmMd0— Rebecca Saltzman (@RebeccaForBART) May 25, 2016
When one rider complained "I find the overhead straps to be very wearying. More [sic] polls pls," Saltzman explained that installing new poles for riders to cling to in BART's current fleet would be too difficult and expensive, but that the Fleet of the Future will have both poles and straps for riders of all heights and weariness to enjoy.
@eean A bit hard (and very expensive) to install polls in the old cars. There will be more polls in the new cars though.— Rebecca Saltzman (@RebeccaForBART) May 25, 2016