The most recent addition to my number plate collection is a Y end number plate from B2 car 1809. This is the story of the car.
Like all other B2 cars numbered 1801-1913, the 1809 was originally built as an A car. In the 1809's case, it was built as A car 237, with a final inspection date of 3/7/1973 and receipt of delivery on 6/26/1973. Roughly speaking it was about the 214th car delivered, of a series of orders totaling 450 revenue cars.
Kenneth Clyde Jenkins captured the 237 at Daly City a few times in the mid 1970s. Here are some of his pictures, now in my collection.
In the late 1970s to early 1980s, BART Hayward Shop converted 35 A cars to B cars, allowing for longer weekday trains and enough cars for weekend operation. Many of these cars were previously damaged in accidents, fires, or other incidents.
It's hard to say at the moment what was the exact reason behind the conversion, but A car 237 was involved in an ATC-related incident at Richmond station on September 30, 1975.
The A to B car conversion was underway by 1980 and A car 237 was converted into B car 809 (9th conversion) during this time. From the 1980s to late 1990s, it rolled as B car 809. In total, it rolled about 4 million miles as A car 237/B car 809.
The entire remaining A and B car fleet was rebuilt during the turn of the century to allow for another couple decades of service. All B cars were rebuilt into B2 cars, including car 809, which became B2 car 1809 in 2000.
The 1809 rolled throughout the system, and in its final years was assigned to Concord and later Richmond yard.
I last saw the 1809 at Hayward yard, stored awaiting decommissioning on June 16, 2023. It was decommissioned just a few weeks later, on June 30, 2023 - a few days after reaching 50 years on the property (where it began, and ended at Hayward Yard).
A Y-end (once the cab end, when it was an A car) number plate from the 1809 resides in my collection, where it remains as a reminder of a well-traveled, and well-storied BART car.
1218 at Bay Fair
Nose of 1235
1235 departing Bay Fair, with its mechanical-only coupler swung out.
1164 at A55 interlocking, bound for Berryessa
1206 and some palm leaves at South Hayward
Nose of 1254, with the cab windows open (a common habit of these cars).
The cab windows have a tendency to pop open at speed, especially with a change of pressure (e.g. the Tube).
Old 1220, rear car at Fremont. Ended the day at the place where it all started 51 years ago, Fremont station, end of line. (Alongside MacArthur, of course).
Old meets new. 3098 and 1270, South Hayward
1164 among Canada Geese outside Union City
Another old and new. 1164 and 3218, Fremont
1269 at Bay Fair
1254 at South Hayward
Sunrise and 1250
1241 at Bay Fair
1212 with a 9 car SF/Daly City train at South Hayward
Get Ready to Stand – New Schedule Significantly Reduces (about 40% to 60%) Seating for all but Yellow Line
The new BART schedule rolls out Monday, and with it comes 6 car trains running on 20-minute headways for all lines but the Yellow line, which will have 8 car trains running on 10-minute headways. This article looks into the massive amounts of seat reductions due to this reduction (from 15 min to 20 min) of service and retirement of the legacy cars from scheduled service.
To acknowledge, this schedule provides consistent service for weekend riders, who have been stuck with 30 minute service. This new schedule brings it back to essentially pre-covid Saturday service, with slightly longer trains in some instances, for both Saturday and Sunday – a much needed improvement. Additionally, it <may> help to increase safety, if the dope fiend and crackhead fare evaders know they are being watched by a body of civil riders – time will tell.
However, BART was not built solely to run trains on weekends. This schedule is better reserved for weekends, and not weekday peaks. The commute period service provided under this new schedule a disservice to loyal BART weekday peak time commuters.
As can be seen from my calculations, some if not many riders can expect a reduction of 42% to almost 60% of the seats compared to the trains that ran in August, over the course of an hour. This is absolutely unacceptable during commute hour, in which BART once (e.g. when it was built and until the first few years of operation) promised a seat for nearly every passenger. Such a valiant goal is no longer attainable, but neither is the reality of running a train suited for weekend service during weekday peak commute. These seat reductions are due to shorter trains, alongside retirement of the legacy cars from scheduled service. Perhaps this is a fitting end to the cars – although worn and battered, they had plenty of seats and last ran under a schedule with plenty of trains. (To note, I fully invite corrections to these calculations, but please note that they are not based on “mixed” Legacy and FOTF service, but either or, for simplicity. Still, the message is the same – reduced amounts of seats).
Crowding only looks good on paper – it sucks to stand on your ride to work, let alone going home.
Even worse – the media is widely reporting an increase in COVID-19 cases. Long trains encourage social distancing – this is the polar opposite of what should be happening.
To add insult to injury, BART has been consistently reducing train sizes these past few weeks – last week had plenty of 8 car Green line trains, and this week has plenty of 6 car train on the Green, Orange, and Blue lines. It’s not even the new public schedule and they are already making people cram in.
The lucky yellow line riders will receive a 10-minute headway, receiving a nearly 20% increase in seats. This further puts the burden on everyone else, and those yellow line riders that must transfer to another line.
I highly recommend readers to comment on BART media/customer service to bring back longer and more frequent trains during the times in which they are needed most.
At some point, if nothing is done, people will realize BART is providing worse service for weekday peak commutes – and may switch to driving. The exact opposite of what BART was designed to do.
As I have written elsewhere in the site – BART was designed to not be the twice daily dreg to work. It was faithfully designed to be a rapid transit system suitable for the modern age – a rapid transit system worthy of ridership due to massive considerations designed to provide a comfortable, clean, reliable, convenient, and inexpensive ride to work, school, shopping, recreation, and other activities. BART was not built to provide pitiful service, and we can only hope that BART becomes the system we have so dearly paid for, through the past 60 years.
"The Two Bagger" is meant to be a place to store more "blog" style posts on various cars, pictures, and random tidbits. At BART, a "two bagger" is a rather informal name for a two car train. Two car trains rolled in revenue service back in 1972.