Passengers enter a BART train at the Daly City Station in San Francisco. (Ekevara Kitpowsong/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Passengers enter a BART train at the Daly City Station in San Francisco. (Ekevara Kitpowsong/Special to S.F. Examiner)

BART to run bus bridges on impacted line into Friday’s morning commute

Bus bridge service for riders traveling between two East Bay stations will continue into Friday because of an electrical problem that began earlier this week, the agency announced early Thursday afternoon.

The bus bridge between the Pittsburg/Bay Point and North Concord stations will allow crews to continue searching for the source of an electrical problem that damaged some 50 cars in BART’s fleet on Wednesday, according to agency officials. The issue was reported shortly before 10 a.m. Wednesday.

BART ran 534 cars during Thursday morning’s commute, though a typical weekday morning commute would see around 590 cars. Riders systemwide should expect crowded trains into the Friday morning commute.
“The system will be crowded because we have less train cars available for service,” BART spokeswoman Alicia Trost said in a statement.

The electrical problem occurred between the Pittsburg/Bay Point and North Concord stations. The problem causes a train traveling over a section of the track between those two stations to experience a high spike in voltage, which in turn damages a piece of the propulsion equipment on the train car.

The problem, however, does not pose a safety risk for riders, agency officials said.
“There’s no safety risk or concern for any of the passengers, even the ones riding on that exact car that’s having the propulsion equipment failure,” Trost said. “But we have shut down that section of track because we can’t afford to damage any more train cars; we already have a limited number of cars in our fleet.”

BART officials conducted field testing all day Wednesday, including inch-by-inch inspections of the wayside equipment, and found no abnormalities in that inspection. The agency plans to fly in outside experts in power control and protection to help get to the bottom of the problem.

Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

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