BART Commuters Gain A Bit More Personal Space

A BART train near the system's Rockridge Station in Oakland.  (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

With more than 430,000 riders cramming into BART cars daily  — and with the first Fleet of the Future trains slated to go into service in fall 2016 — commuters are now seeing some relief. Trains are running longer. They're also getting longer.

Trains on the Pittsburg/Bay Point-SFO line, BART's most trafficked route, now have 10 cars instead of nine. Dublin/Pleasanton-Daly City trains have been bumped up to nine cars as well, and trains on the Richmond-Fremont line now have four cars instead of three. Each line will also run for an additional 15 minutes during the morning commute.

In addition, service on the the Richmond-Millbrae line has been extended to 9 p.m. weekdays.

But not everyone has it so good. At the Concord Station, where trains typically turn back to San Francisco, riders will have to wait an additional five minutes to catch one. BART has also introduced a limited-service Pleasant Hill train in the morning, which bypasses the Rockridge, Orinda and Lafayette stations.

The system revisions are meant to resolve issues flagged in a 2014 customer satisfaction survey. In June, BART's Board of Directors approved a $1.57 billion budget to help cover improvement costs.

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Aside from a few minor hiccups, said BART spokesman Taylor Huckaby, everything seemed to go pretty well Monday morning when the changes were first implemented.

"It's kind of like first day of school: Everyone's got to figure out where they need to go," he said.

As of that afternoon, BART was still working to correct digital signage and to make sure that all the train operators were on the right trains, leaving the right stations at the right time.

"We do understand there are some folks at Concord who are unhappy with having to wait an extra five minutes," Huckaby added. "But we're trying to get the word out that it's for everybody's benefit."

Until the new cars start arriving next fall, this is one of the biggest BART developments that commuters could hope for.