BART budget includes funds for new railcars, maintenance facility

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SAN FRANCISCO — Leaders at Bay Area Rapid Transit have approved $1.92-billion fiscal year 2018 budget that calls for new rail cars, the construction of a maintenance complex, a major reinvestment program, and other projects.

The agency will make purchases of new rail equipment next year. BART managers will spend $285 million on 775 new railcars and allocate $71 million towards the Hayward maintenance complex, a new, modern facility that will maintain the agency’s "fleet of the future" railcars.

So far, the agency has set aside $97 million to continue traction power infrastructure replacement projects and an additional $67 million will be used to modernize stations, including a program that replaces escalators and installs canopies at station entrances along Market Street in San Francisco. Funding will also go towards station upgrades at Powell, 19th Street, El Cerrito del Norte, downtown Berkeley, and Concord stations.

Specifically, the budget also earmarks $671 million in system reinvestments at a time when ridership is down about 3 percent for fiscal year 2017.

Officials also say they'll set aside $100 million as part of an earthquake safety program.

For service and capacity enhancements, the agency will invest $75 million in station cleaning devices, better signage, and other cosmetic enhancements.

The agency is also tackling fare evasion issues with $2.7-million to hire six community service officers and one police administrative specialist, while also raising barriers and service gates to a uniform height of 60 inches across the network. BART crews will also phase out all non-fare gates other than one immediately next to each station agent booth.

More information on the FY2018 budget is available online.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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