BART announced on Thursday that, after years of planning, waiting, and testing along with a marathon of delays, the first of its new train cars will finally go into service Friday.
According to a brief message from BART:
We’ve been given the go ahead to put our new Fleet of the Future cars into service. That approval came from the California Public Utilities Commission Wednesday night after a comprehensive testing process. You can expect to see the first train in service as early as Friday afternoon. [...] The new cars will offer BART passengers a quieter and more comfortable ride while expanding our capacity.
The transit agency says it’s run the vehicles more than 75,000 miles and finished 382 required tests before winning approval to carry passengers.
Once up on a time BART hoped to have these vehicles running by the end of 2016. Then a series of delays pushed that mark back many times throughout 2017. A self-imposed December 15 deadline seemed within their grasp, but malfunctions with the doors during a crucial test took weeks more to resolve.
The agency has bought 775 of the Canadian-built cars in all, spending roughly $2.6 billion on the “fleet of the future.” BART still hopes to receive the full order by the end of 2022.