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Why do BART platform signs now say ‘2-door’?

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New info appeared on platform displays over the weekend

BART platform with digital sign, in red, saying, “SF Airport 10-car, two doors.”
Embarcadero BART Station, Monday, September 3.
Photo by Brock Keeling

On Saturday, BART riders might have noticed extra text on the platform screens, including a new notice specifying the pending arrival of “two-door” trains at the station. Confused? It’s all part of BART’s new Fleet of the Future transition.

A “two door” note informs passengers that their approaching train is a legacy (i.e., old) coach. And a “three-door” note signifies a Fleet of the Future train, which has three doors, is approaching.

Floor decals denoting where the new third door lines up on the platform have already been placed at a few stations in the system. San Francisco Chronicle urban design critic John King tweeted one such example Tuesday morning.

In addition to the new signage, the platform displays will also let passengers know when a scheduled train has been cancelled or removed from service. A marked improvement from the usual protocol of a train’s info simply disappearing from the sign, followed by an inaudible PA announcement.

Also in the works: a “delayed” notice for displays, which will indicate when an approaching train is being held and delayed. Presently, signs show how many minutes away a train is, but the number of minutes remains the same when a train is delayed, prompting fury and ire from passengers waiting on the platform.

“Platform digital signs are one of our most important communication touch points we have with the public because they offer real time information,” said BART’s new General Manager Bob Powers. “These improvements will increase transparency with our riders and will show we are working on ways to make taking BART easier and more enjoyable.”

BART has six new Fleet of the Future trains in service.