The Bay Area Rapid Transit system was conceived and is being constructed on a scale too imposing for piecemeal consideration of any single engineering discipline. San Francisco has 770,000 people in a 50 square mile area. Living space is available in the East Bay 'bedroom' counties, or to the north or south. Sixty percent of all job opportunities in the Bay Area exist in San Francisco, Oakland, and Berkeley. The state legislature created a special commission, which recommended a five county BART. Use of tolls from the Bay Bridge was authorized. Early plans called for routes in the five counties, 52 stations, and the three level Market Street Subway with trackless trolley coaches at street level, street cars below on a second level, and BART trains at the lowest third level. Aerial structures were to be different from any previously constructed. Two counties withdrew, and a court suit challenged the construction of the system. The two most difficult engineering projects were the Berkeley Hills tunnels and the Trans Bay Tube. The Diablo Test Track was placed in use in 1965 to aid in selection of rolling stock and subsystems. Construction costs began to exceed estimates. Additional sources of funding were necessary, including taxes and DOT grants. A section of subway and stations were redesigned to minimize the excess of cost over the estimate. Inflation was a big factor. The Trans Bay Tube is binocular in cross section, and the vertical profile follows the contour of the bay bottom to minimize trenching costs. The Market Street Subway has been under construction for six years by cut and cover technqiues. Berkeley voted an extra $20.5 million to place tracks and two stations underground. A new Embarcadero Station required funding. Stanford Research Institute Recommended the 5 ft 6 in. gage of the track, for stability and smoother ride. The Westinghouse automated train control equipment has been beset by de-bugging problems. Plans are to extend BART to San Francisco International Airport. BART will use 250 light weight cars. Public reaction is divided into two camps: those who view BART as the most advanced transit system, and those who view it as a catastrophe. BART will increase land values in San Francisco, spur building in suburban counties, and ease vehicular traffic in San Francisco, Oakland, and Berkeley. There is no master plan plan for extension of the system, even though numerous studies have been completed or are underway.

  • Availability:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This article is the first of a series on BART. Refer to RRIS #041625 Section 23 for a note on special availability.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

    3 Park Avenue, 17th Floor
    New York, NY  United States  10016-5997
  • Authors:
    • Friedlander, G D
  • Publication Date: 1972-9

Media Info

  • Pagination: p. 35-42
  • Serial:
    • IEEE Spectrum
    • Volume: 9
    • Issue Number: 9
    • Publisher: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
    • ISSN: 0018-9235

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00041621
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: IEEE Spectrum
  • Report/Paper Numbers: X72-092
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 15 1973 12:00AM