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BART launching 10 new train cars to bolster service, but remainder of ‘future fleet’ sees delay

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BART is launching new cars this week. (Courtesy photo)

Ten new BART cars from the agency’s much-anticipated “Fleet of the Future” will hit the tracks in the next two weeks.

But the news isn’t all rosy, as BART is also projecting a six-month delay in the delivery of the final order of train cars from its manufacturer, Bombardier Transit Corporation.

John Garnham, the project director for the “Fleet of the Future,” made the announcement to the BART Board of Directors late Thursday.

The California Public Utilities Commission cleared some of the new cars for service back in May but BART needed to install new software for the automatic train control system, Garnham said. Other cars were cleared for service by the CPUC in recent weeks. The upshot, however, is that more service is on the way.

“We’ll put them in service in the next week week and a half,” Garnham said of the new cars.

Though BART may get as many as five new cars per month through the end of the year, Garnham told the San Francisco Examiner outside the boardroom, BART General Manager Grace Crunican cautioned board members during the meeting to be conservative about delivery estimates for new vehicles when speaking to BART riders online.

“When asked by constituents when we’re going to see them say, ‘perhaps this year,’” Crunican said, “I don’t want the board to hang their hat” on a specific date.

Though more cars are on the way, the agreed date when Bombardier was set to deliver the last of the future fleet’s train cars has been delayed six months, Garnham told the board.

The final delivery date for all the new vehicles, which will cost a total of $2.6 billion, was scheduled for Oct. 27, 2025, but the current forecast sees them arriving by April 8, 2026, according to BART documents.

“That’s typical of projects of this size,” Garnham told the board, and may fluctuate.

“Towards the end you ramp up production and try to ramp up the schedule, that looks like the way this contract is going as well,” he added.

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