Eight decommissioned BART cars will get new leases on life as video game parlors, mini museums and training aids as the agency rolls out its new “Fleet of the Future” in the coming months.
Finalists for the eight legacy cars were selected out of a pool of 20 proposals, which described what was planned for the cars. BART estimates that the cost of transporting, installing and permitting each car will be between $8,000 to $15,000.
Brian Tsukamoto, a BART special project manager, said the transit agency wanted the cars to be “given a new life. We’d like to see them repurposed and have people continue to enjoy these cars,” he said.
The remaining decommissioned legacy cars will be recycled a few at a time by an Oakland scrap metal company.
Arthur Mac’s Tap and Snack, an Oakland beer garden, will be transforming their legacy car into a retro video game arcade and children’s play area as well as a seating area for weatherproof dining. In its proposal, Arthur Mac’s said it wanted “to create a time capsule that transports our customers and community members beyond the confines of time and space.”
Across town, the Oakland Athletics, another recipient, are adding a car to the Oakland Coliseum. Known as “Coliseum BAR(T),” the space will have a museum that promotes the history of transit and sports in the East Bay as well as a local craft beer garden.
Hospitality in Transit, a Washington D.C. business which built a bar out of an old Metro car, will bring their concept to the Bay Area with “BARTbar.” Though a location has not been disclosed, the venue will act as a coworking space, café and meeting place during the day and a drinking spot at night.
The Bay Area Electric Railroad Association, which operates the Western Railway Museum in Suisun City, hopes to create a “Rapid Transit History Center,” which will span three cars and educate visitors on early modes of transportation. The museum is currently accepting donations to include displays, a small theater and other artifacts in their project.
Some legacy cars will act as training grounds for emergency service teams. The Hayward Fire Department will use their legacy car to provide “station familiarization, vehicle rescue simulations and safety of the track and third rail system” training.
The Contra Costa County Fire Protection District’s legacy car is being designed for “scenario-based training and car familiarization training.” Located at a regional training center, the car will also serve local EMS agencies, law enforcement agencies and the Los Medanos Junior College Fire Academy.
Further afield, a partnership of private residents in the Sierra Foothills proposed an environmentally friendly structure that will feature a solar panel roof, a gray water system and passive cooling.
Down the road, the Original Scraper Bike Team, an East Oakland organization that offers bicycle skill training, mentorship programs and artistic opportunities for urban youth, will divide their car into two spaces. The first half is a shop that will provide free bike repairs and bike education to children. The second half is a clubhouse for community events and mentorship programs. Local artists will be recruited to decorate the car with a mural.