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A new BART train sits on a track at night. To its left, a few people standn on the platform.

BART’s new schedule could mean better service for Richmond riders

on September 9, 2023

BART will roll out a “reimagined” service Monday, meaning Richmond residents should see much shorter wait times and newer trains.

Richmond riders will have a train to San Francisco they can jump on every 10 minutes, said BART spokesperson Chris Filippi. “The time transfers are key to this, and we really think it’s going to be a big difference for our riders, especially those in Richmond.”

Richmond resident William Lemont Dennis, a fashion design entrepreneur, welcomes the new trains because he says the old ones weren’t performing optimally anymore.

“The old trains are living in the stone age,” he said. “The seats are worn out. The speakers are bad, and you can barely hear announcements on the train. Honestly, I look forward to the new BART train,” he said. “It’s about time.”

The changes in Richmond are part of BART’s new schedule aimed at adapting to post-pandemic commute patterns and increasing ridership. BART’s website notes these highlights:

  • Eliminates 30-minute wait times on nights and weekends 
  • No BART rider will wait more than 20 minutes for a scheduled train no matter what hour of the day or day of the week
  • 50% increase in evening service seven days a week

“This will be a major improvement for our riders, and we hope it will encourage people to try BART more often,” Filippi said.

Shaleya Brown, a mother and student who resides in Richmond, said she is looking forward to riding on the new trains.

“I really don’t care for the older trains,” she said. “They’ve been around since I was a kid. I’m 24 now. They’ve been around since my mom was a kid, and she’s almost 41. That says a lot.”

Filippi added that while Richmond riders will be among those to see more new trains, the older trains will be kept on reserve and used when BART needs to expand capacity or if it runs into equipment problems.

UC Davis Associate Professor Kari Edison Watkins, a transit expert, said she believes BART’s changes will improve customer service.

“The whole idea of putting new trains in is that they are trying to improve customer experience in the Bay Area,” said Edison Watkins, who teaches in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. “And I think before COVID, it was super important to have good customer experience, But post-COVID, it is critically important because their ridership is down.”

More information about the plan is on  BART’s website.

(File photo by Mark Andrew Boyer)

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