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BART dreams of being on the beach

A BART train that goes out to Ocean Beach!?

Sounds like the stuff of fairy tales.

But it was on the minds of BART’s Board of Directors Thursday as they laid out some big dreams for both short-term and long-term improvements to the transbay transit agency.

First, the short-term. Using funds from a $30 million operating surplus, BART is mulling buses from downtown San Francisco along the Fremont and Pittsburg/Bay Point lines until 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. These buses could be running by September.

Another short-term fix — which I’m sure you BART diehards have already noticed — is the replacement of the gnarly fabric seats with vinyl covering.

Less smelly and easier to keep clean? Sounds like a good fix!

BART is also looking at improvements to existing tracks, including adding more crossover tracks so trains can pass each other more quickly, and adding express trains on busier lines.

Looking out over the next couple of decades, the hope is to extend a new line from Pleasant Hill to SFO, and a line from downtown San Francisco that travels down Geary Blvd. and out to Ocean Beach.

BART Executive Manager of Planning and Budgets Carter Mau told the Chron that “these are concepts not certainties.” Plans for public meetings and talks with directors, though, are already in the cards.

BART’s Board of Directors looks ready to adopt the budget at its meeting next month.

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