BART “Fleet Of the Future” Meeting in Milpitas

On Thursday from 3pm-6:30pm at the Great Mall in Milpitas, the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) will partner with BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) to get public input on the designs of a new fleet of cars BART will soon purchase. This is the ONLY meeting in Santa Clara County for your input on the new BART rail cars.  According to VTA, the entire lab with survey for your input takes about 15 minutes to complete.

This is all part of BART’s “Fleet Of the Future” project where the entire fleet of rail cars used by BART is being replaced. One current issue with the current BART fleet: dangerous, antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the cloth seats. This as BART riders in the other “Fleet of the Future” meetings in San Francisco and the East Bay appeared to want wider aisles. Some of the rail cars BART currently uses date back to when the system first began service in 1972. One such car, that was overhauled a few years ago, is pictured below:

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The “Seat Lab” will take place in the parking lot of the Great Mall/Main Transit Center, at 1193 Great Mall Parkway in Milpitas.

Map picture

You can get to the “Seat Lab” in Milpitas by taking VTA light rail to the Great Mall/Main Transit Center stop. In addition to AC Transit’s 217 bus from Fremont, several VTA buses like the 33, 46, 66, 70, 71, 77 and 180 Express serve this transit center and the “Seat Lab.”

The joint “Seat Lab” will allow the public to try out seating designs, aisle widths, bike racks, luggage racks and other designs for the new cars. Remember: these new cars will be what you will be using as BART serves Warm Springs in Fremont, and eventually Milpitas and Berryessa. Hence, it’s important to make your voice know about the new BART cars at this meeting.

How The VTA/BART Meeting in Milpitas Really Happened

Originally, there was no “Fleet Of the Future” meeting set for Santa Clara County. Period. That is, until the June 2 VTA Board Meeting in San Jose. As part of Agenda Item 39 (at the bottom of page 11) referring to a report on the “Silicon Valley Rapid Transit Corridor,” I asked VTA Staff to work with BART on having a “Seat Lab” in Santa Clara County:

Mr. Bradley urged staff to have BART conduct a “fleet of the future” meeting within the County of Santa Clara to ensure residents have the opportunity to participate in the survey on the proposed new seats.

I would have brought copies of BART’s “Fleet of the Future” with me to provide to the entire VTA Board of Directors. However, in my haste to get to my day job on time, I left the copies at home. Fortunately, I encouraged VTA Staff to look up “Fleet of the Future” on BART’s web site.

All I did to get VTA to act to what I had to say was follow this guide on properly stating a case for the VTA Board of Directors.

See you on Thursday!

Eugene Bradley
Founder, Silicon Valley Transit Users

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