It's another bad PR week for BART, and it's just gotten a bit worse after they were testing a four-car train of those new Fleet of the Future cars and it broke down at Lake Merritt Station, leading to systemwide delays just as the morning rush hour hit. The disabled train, which had no passengers on board, was blocking one of the tracks for a couple of hours starting at 5 a.m. today, and it needed to be pushed to a pocket track at Bay Fair Station before things could be cleared. CBS 5 reports that delays for East Bay BART riders were between 20 and 30 minutes at their height, with trains on the Dublin/Pleasanton and Fremont lines having to single-track.

Even after the track was cleared, the Chronicle reports that there were still residual delays of 20 minutes as of 7:30 a.m. Friday.

While BART had said that 60 of the new cars would be in service by the end of this year, we learned last month that there have been some testing delays, and now they're promising only 35 cars will be running by year-end. By the end of next year, however, 166 of new cars should be operational.

That is, of course, if they all don't break down like the ones today.

Meanwhile, following that much publicized mob robbery at Coliseum Station last weekend, the East Bay Times is now reporting that there's been a 22 percent uptick in crime on the BART system overall so far this year, compared to last year. And just since March 11, 19 people between the ages of 12 and 21 have been arrested for a "range" of suspected crimes, and "the suspects were arrested in groups of two to four people and were acting in concert."

Previously: BART's 'Fleet Of The Future' To Roll Out Further In The Future Than Promised