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BART secures $300 million in funding to buy trains, build capacity

BART officials announced on Thursday that the Federal Transit Administration has allocated $300 million of a $1.17 billion federal grant request to increase capacity on BART.

General Manager for BART Grace Crunican made the announcement on Twitter just before the transit agency was about to start its Twitter Town Hall “Race For Space.” Crunican said in the brief video message:

“Hey everyone. Breaking news from Washington, D.C. I just got a call from Jane Williams. She’s the acting administrator for the Federal Transit Administration. We got the grant. We’re going to be led into engineering and I want to thank Speaker Pelosi and Sen. Feinstein for working with the administration in making this happen. Thank you very much.”

With the project advancing into the engineering phase of the grant program, BART is one step closer in getting the full funding, transit officials said.

The Transbay Corridor Core Capacity Project will help the transit agency run more trains through the Transbay Tube, officials with the transit agency said.

Currently, BART operates 23 trains per hour, about 213 cars, in each direction through the Transbay Tube during the peak commute times. Through the project, the transit agency looks to operate 30 trains per hour in the tube.

The project includes an additional 306 additional rail cars to relieve crowding, a new train control system that will allow BART to operate 30 trains per hour in the tube, a new rail car storage facility to accommodate the additional new rail cars, and building five new substations.

The total cost of the project is $3.5 billion. BART has already secured $1.5 billion in local funds.

Other sources of funding will come from Measure RR that voters passed in in 2016, Regional Measure 3, and from the California State Transportation Agency’s Transit and Intercity Rail Capital Program.

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