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BART begins retiring legacy trains from its fleet

All aboard! BART’s legacy trains are — for the most part — having its final runs this weekend. 

The transit agency is retiring its legacy fleet from its official schedule starting Monday, although some may be brought back if needed to supplement BART service. 

The move is part of what the agency is calling its “reimagined service plan,” aimed at boosting ridership and adapting to commuter patterns post-pandemic. 

A few notable features from the new schedule: eliminating half-hour wait times on nights and weekends, making sure riders never have to wait more than 20 minutes and running shorter trains.

A fuller list of changes can be read here.

In addition to all of that, of course, BART is phasing out older trains in favor of The Fleet of the Future

What’s next for legacy trains?

Most of those older cars will be recycled. 

One train car can turn into 22 tons of metal, including about 15 tons of steel, 6 tons of aluminum and 1 ton of copper, according to BART. From there, the metals will be shipped to mills and foundries around the world to be made into something new. 

But a handful of those older trains will live on around the Bay Area. In 2021, BART gave the public a chance to submit proposals suggesting ways to give some train cars a second life. The agency ended up picking eight recipients from those who submitted.

Among the group were the Hayward Fire Department and Contra Costa Fire Protection District, who plan to use the cars to train their crews. The Bay Area Electric Railroad Association has a similarly educational idea with a proposed “Rapid Transit History Center” showing off several models of legacy BART trains. 

At a more leisurely speed, the company Hospitality in Transit wants to use a car to open a “BARTbar,” a coworking cafe by day and bar by night. And the Original Scraper Bike Team, which works with young people in East Oakland, wants to turn a car into a bike shop-cum-clubhouse. 

Check out the other proposals here.

One last ride

Fans of the older trains have a unique opportunity Sunday: riding the last legacy train before the schedule change. BART shared on X, formerly Twitter, that it would be a Red Line train leaving from Millbrae at 7:39 p.m. and heading toward Richmond. 

There will also be an official retiring run ceremony next year.

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Source: NBC Bay Area

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