‘Next rainy season it’s going to be much better’: BART fixes wheel problem that caused delays

Andrew Guzman was late for work nearly every other day last winter. During the monthslong deluge that soaked the Bay Area, his train to the downtown Berkeley BART station was often delayed. Frustrated, he clocked in late to work shift after shift.

The biggest problem last winter was that wet weather led to wheel spots or wheel flats, which can occur during braking and force a car out of service. Though wheel spots occurred more frequently on the newer Fleet of the Future cars, the root cause of last season’s problems wasn’t the cars themselves, but the complexity of BART’s control system, Allison said. BART has corrected the control system errors which caused wheel spots. 

However, BART‘s project to replace the 50-year-old, unpredictable control system software is still a decade off. BART and its riders are depending on the transit system’s short-term fixes to avoid another chaotic season. Riders need reliable service just as BART, after years of declining ridership and revenue, needs to keep those riders scanning their clipper cards this winter.