BART OKs $638.9 million for 'Fleet of the Future'

Buy 365 cars, get five free — and usher in the future almost two months early.

On Thursday, BART signed off on a $638.9 million contract with Canadian railway giant Bombardier Transportation for 365 new railcars, to add to 410 already bought for the transit agency’s Fleet of the Future project. BART also secured five cars free of cost from the manufacturer.

By agreeing to buy the extra cars up front, BART saves $125 million in the $1.789 billion contract, $596 million of which must come from the agency’s funds. The rest of the tab will be covered by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.

The first prototype cars are scheduled to be delivered in 2015. If all goes well, production of the new fleet will begin in 2016, with the new cars entering service the following year.

Much of BART’s rolling stock is composed of original, vintage 1970s train cars, though most underwent significant upgrades in the 1980s.

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