We're in apocalyptic times for San Francisco's largest public transportation system, BART. Seemingly every day, there's one problem or another with the 43-year-old Bay Area Rapid Transit. Our most recent issue? "BART commuter chaos continues as East Bay station remains closed," reads today's San Francisco Chronicle headline.
Yesterday's snafu, where a station shut down and triggered delays/caused some commuters to take a bus to reach their intended destination, prompted the following exchange and mea culpa from BART's official Twitter account:
"BART was built to transport far fewer people, and much of our system has reached the end of its useful life. This is our reality."
BART, it seemed, had suffered some sort of mental breakdown. They'd also admitted what everyone in the Bay Area already knew: its issues are fundamentally unsolvable.
A brief list of Chronicle headlines from just 2016:
- Mysterious problem on BART cars worsening commute-time crush
- BART admits 77 percent of train cameras are fake or don’t work
- BART equipment snafu prompts ‘major’ delays in East Bay
- Computer malfunction hits BART, prompts delays
- Power troubles generate delays on BART
- BART short circuit and fire causes delays in Peninsula service
The BART's latest infrastructural crisis coincides with another dramatic occurrence on the east coast, where Washington DC's Washington Metrorail public transportation system, the second-largest in the nation, shut down in its entirety for all of Wednesday.
“The shutdown today was necessary," Metro general manager Paul Wiedefeld said at a news conference Wednesday.
Michael Rosen is a reporter for Fusion based out of Oakland.