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BART to start service an hour later for Transbay Tube retrofit

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Starting February 2019, BART will embark on a three and a half year project to seismically retrofit the Transbay Tube to strengthen the structure in the event of a major earthquake. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

BART trains are scheduled to start running an hour later each morning beginning Monday as workers seismically retrofit the Transbay Tube.

Trains are expected to start running at 5 a.m. instead of 4 a.m. for the next three and a half years so that overnight construction crews have more time to prepare the underwater tube for a devastating earthquake. Trains will also have to run on a single track through the tube after 9 p.m. during the retrofit.

The 3.6-mile long Transbay Tube is not expected to fail during a very rare and major earthquake but could crack and leak. In the coming years, workers are slated to install steel lining and upgrade the pumping system in the tube.

About 2,800 riders use BART during its first hour of service, largely to commute to work in San Francisco from the outer parts of the Bay Area. The transit agency plans to supplement early morning service with shuttle buses throughout the region so that riders can still get to work on time.

SEE RELATED: BART approves early morning shuttles to replace train service, extends routes for Mission District workers

The transit agency decided on the schedule changes to shorten the timeline of the retrofit project by 4 months and save some $15 million.

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