BART to Retire Legacy Fleet in Public Event

Written by Carolina Worrell, Senior Editor
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Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) will officially retire its legacy fleet on April 20 in a public event.

BART is inviting the public to mark and celebrate the end of an era: the last run of the agency’s legacy trains composed of rail cars that have been serving the Bay Area for more than half a century. The event, “Riding into History: Final Run of the First Fleet,” will take place on April 20 at Oakland’s MacArthur Station.

Following the 1 p.m. retirement ceremony, the public will line up in the plaza and then board a legacy train and ride from MacArthur to Fremont Station, mirroring the initial service BART provided when it opened September 11, 1972. It’s a 45-minute trip that travels along approximately 24 miles of the original section of tracks. There will be more than one legacy train for the event. The trains will make all station stops and may turn around at Bay Fair depending on the number of attendees waiting to ride.

Every rider will need to pay for the ride with their Clipper card. The fare depends on where each rider is going after the ride.

“These train cars are part of the history of the Bay Area,” said BART General Manager Bob Powers. “While we are excited to modernize the system, we recognize the profound cultural importance of these cars, and we want to celebrate their rich history and give them a proper send off.”

According to BART, the agency is able to completely retire the legacy fleet thanks to the success of the Fleet of the Future project. Seven hundred and six new Fleet of the Future train cars are now certified for service—that’s 30 more cars than the legacy fleet inventory. A total of 720 new cars are on BART property as of April 1, 2024, and 20 cars a month are now being delivered to BART—twice as many as when the new cars first began to be delivered to the Hayward test track in 2016.

While the April 20 trip will be the final time the public will be able to ride the legacy fleet cars, it won’t be the last opportunity to spend time with the historic vehicles.

Three legacy cars will be headed to the Western Railway Museum in Suisun City for preservation and to provide a space for transit enthusiasts, researchers and museum guests to enjoy and study for years to come. The three cars, including an iconic sloped-front A car, will be the only cars from the legacy fleet to be displayed at a museum.

A handful of other legacy cars will be transferred to those who successfully submitted proposals to repurpose the cars for short-term rentals, entertainment venues and training facilities.

Most of the legacy cars, however, have been recycled, so April 20 is the last chance to ride these historic cars.

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