Eight lucky winners have been awarded decommissioned BART cars, as BART announced these retired cars will be transformed into a retro video game arcade, a bike repair shop, and a beer garden at The Oakland A’s stadium.
Your BART “Fleet of the Future” cars are still arriving, which leads to the question… what happens to the ”Fleet of the Past?” Funny you should ask! Their scrap metal will mostly be recycled, but as SFist reported in 2020, BART put out a request for proposals for creative types who might want to reuse the cars for various and sundry purposes. And last week, the winners were finally announced, and the Chronicle has a rundown of the eight winners of retired BART cars that will now be given new life in reincarnation.
An arcade. A sports bar for the Oakland A’s. A rental home.— San Francisco Chronicle (@sfchronicle) March 14, 2022
A fleet of decommissioned BART cars will soon appear in unexpected places around the Bay Area and Northern California.https://t.co/oKuo9fpUAm
“These cars are iconic to the Bay Area and to the people that not only live in the Bay Area now, but grew up riding these BART cars,” BART Manager of Special Projects Brian Tsukamoto said in a press release. “We’d like to see them given a new life. We’d like to see them repurposed and have people continue to enjoy these cars.”
So where are these retired BART cars going, and how will they be fabulously refurbished by transit enthusiasts and party people? Let’s take a look.
Just a block from the MacArthur BART station, Arthur Mac's Tap and Snack plans to take an old BART car and transform it into a “retro videogame arcade and kids play area” plus outdoor parklet. According to their proposal, their vision “is to create a time capsule that transports our customers and community members beyond the confines of time and space.”
The Oakland A’s stadium also won a car, which they plan to incorporate into the stadium as a Bay Area craft beer garden. “The interior would commemorate A’s history, and BART as an extension of it, through memorabilia, historical photographs, old jerseys, [and] autographed bats and balls,” according to their winning proposal. Though there’s no specific word on whether it will be in the current stadium, the proposed new stadium, or both.
How cool is this? East Bay community bike organization the Original Scraper Bike Team won a car that, in the words of BART, “will be divided into two sections: One half will serve as a bike shop, which will provide free bike repairs and help children learn to build and decorate their own Scraper bike; the other half will be a clubhouse for community events and Scraper Bike Teams’ mentorship program.”
A few other proposals have been awarded, though seem a little vague at this point.
- A group called Hospitality in Transit will turn one into a “coworking space, café and meeting place during the day and transition to a beverage-slinging joint by night," though a location is not yet disclosed.
- The Bay Area Electric Railroad Association will turn another into a museum exhibit in Suisun City.
- The Hayward Fire Department will use one for rescue simulations.
- Another will go to the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District for the same purpose.
- One will become a part of a short-tem rental property in the Sierra foothills, which the owners hope to make into a “metaphoric train station that blends the space age-modern esthetics of BART and a cozy cabin,” and “will be constructed as green as possible, with a solar panel roof, a gray water system and passive cooling.”