BART’s board of directors has voted to redesign the floor plan of the agency’s future fleet of train cars to make them more accessible for the disabled.
The transit agency says the “Fleet of the Future” will replace aging train cars and increase the size of the fleet to relieve crowding. The first BART cars are set to go in service in Fall 2016.
The design for the future cars was approved by the board of directors last year and were welcomed by many passengers, but concern was raised by groups and individuals advocating for the disabled.
Since then, an agreement was reached that satisfies those concerns while keeping the same number of seats, wheelchair areas and bike floors as the original plan, BART says.
According to BART:
“The agreement changes the floor plan on the new train cars to consolidate all wheelchair zones at the middle door of each new train car, which will allow passengers with more than one wheelchair user in their group to be closer together when they ride BART. Under the plan, BART also agrees to remove all floor-to-ceiling poles in the middle door area to maximize accessible paths.”
“The new plan retains tripod poles at end doors for semi-ambulatory people with disabilities, senior citizens, and others who need extra stability as the train accelerates and decelerates. There will be signage on the outside of the trains showing which doors have parking areas for people who use wheelchairs, and which doors have bicycle parking. Under the agreement, BART and the disability organizations will work together to inform passengers with disabilities about the new floor plan, pictured below.”
Bike space scenarios to be tested
BART will also test various bike space scenarios using 10 test trains cars. Six of the cars will have a bike rack at one end door, while another two will have one area of flexible family/open space for bikes, luggage, strollers and families at one end door and no bike rack. Two additional test trains will have both a bike rack at one door and flexible family/open space at another door.