BART’s new hours start to­day: What it means for your com­mute

The Mercury News - - Legal Advertising And Public Notices - By Erin Bal­das­sari ebal­das­[email protected] ba­yare­anews­group.com Con­tact Erin Bal­das­sari at 510-208-6428.

As the mas­sive seis­mic retro­fit of the Trans­bay Tube gets un­der­way, BART to­day will be­gin sub­bing buses for trains in its first hour of ser­vice on week­days and sin­gle-track trains af­ter 9 p.m. Thurs­day through Sun­day.

The ser­vice changes will al­low the agency to com­plete the more than $300 mil­lion retro­fit of the Trans­bay Tube, shoring the es­sen­tial tran­sit artery in the event of a ma­jor, once-in-1,000-years earth­quake, while also per­form­ing needed re­pairs and up­grades through­out the sys­tem.

It takes crews some time to set up equip­ment at night and then break it down be­fore the start of the morn­ing com­mute, creat­ing a lim­ited win­dow of “wrench time” to ac­tu­ally get to work. Ad­ding ex­tra hours for work­ers will en­able the agency to get 43 per­cent to 62 per­cent more work done and shave months off con­struc­tion, of­fi­cials said.

The re­main­ing seis­mic retro­fit work in the Trans­bay Tube is the last project in a host of earth­quake up­grades vot­ers ap­proved in 2004 as part of $980 mil­lion in Mea­sure AA bonds for the $1.2 bil­lion pro­gram.

Crews will line key sec­tions of the 3.6-mile tube with curved steel plates, us­ing grout to ad­here the plates to the tube’s con­crete walls, and a poly­mer prod­uct un­der the tracks to pre­vent against pos­si­ble leaks.

They’ll also in­stall an up­graded pump­ing sys­tem that will al­low larger

quan­ti­ties of wa­ter to be re­moved more quickly from the tube, should wa­ter make its way in.

Through­out the rest of the sys­tem, work­ers will re­place seg­ments of rail and up­grade power sub­sta­tions, re­build in­ter­lock­ing com­po­nents on the tracks and re­place high-volt­age trans­form­ers, up­grade fire and tun­nel light­ing sys­tems, and re­place stretches of its elec­tric ca­bles, among other projects.

It’s largely work vot­ers ap­proved in 2016 un­der Mea­sure RR, a $3.5 bil­lion

bond aimed at im­prov­ing re­li­a­bil­ity on the ag­ing sys­tem.

The work is ex­pected to last three and a half years, but BART of­fi­cials say the ex­tra time spent work­ing will save them time and money in the long-run, de­liv­er­ing the projects faster and im­prov­ing pas­sen­gers’ com­mutes.

Some 2,900 pas­sen­gers board BART be­tween 3:45 a.m. and 4:45 a.m., with the vast ma­jor­ity board­ing in the East Bay and more than half dis­em­bark­ing in San Fran­cisco.

BART will run buses from se­lect sta­tions to des­ti­na­tions in the East Bay, Penin­sula and San Fran­cisco.

Sin­gle-track­ing af­ter 9 p.m. through the tube Thurs­day through Sun­day mean trains will come ev­ery 24 min­utes, rather than ev­ery 20 min­utes, and some pas­sen­gers will need to make an ex­tra trans­fer to get to their des­ti­na­tions.

Ex­tra trains will be added Fri­day nights.

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