San Francisco’s Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) has awarded a $798 million (£620 million) contract to Hitachi Rail STS USA for the design, build and installation of a Communications-Based Train Control (CBTC) digital train-control system to increase capacity and improve service.
BART connects the San Francisco Peninsula with Berkeley, Oakland and other cities in the East Bay area of Northern California. Its trains average 405,000 journeys every weekday.
The current train control system is more than 48 years old, and replacing it with Hitachi’s new CBTC system will allow BART to operate the trains safely, on tighter schedules and at more closely spaced intervals, significantly increasing Transbay capacity.
Hitachi’s CBTC System will enable BART to meet the projected demand of over 30,000 Transbay passengers per hour at peak and includes options that could extend the system to Silicon Valley via the Berryessa extension and the Santa Clara extension.
Overall, BART anticipates that the project will create some 500 new jobs, with nearly 8,800 potential direct and indirect jobs resulting from these infrastructure investments.
Carl Holmes, BART’s assistant general manager for planning, development and construction, said: “Replacing and modernizing BART’s 50-year-old train control system will be a generational project that will benefit our riders for decades to come.
“CBTC will allow us to deliver world class service and meet the future needs of the San Francisco Bay Area.”
Jason White, Hitachi Rail’s executive officer for the Americas, commented: “Hitachi’s solution will help BART increase train frequency, adding capacity to the most heavily traveled sections of the rail system, which accounted for nearly 60% of all trips last year.
“This infrastructure investment will improve the system’s overall reliability and maintainability, reduce costs and increase the frequency of BART trains.
“We value the trust BART has placed in Hitachi to deliver this critical project and look forward to creating a strong partnership with them.”
Hitachi’s contract with BART includes design, manufacture, supply, installation, testing, and commissioning of its CBTC solution, as well as the supply and commissioning support of vehicle-borne equipment for BART’s train fleet. It also includes wayside signalling, communications, and the automated train supervision systems.
In addition, BART awarded Hitachi an $8.6 million (£6.7 million) contract for Train Control Performance Support Services for up to twenty years, representing an investment in the long-term training and expert support for BART’s maintenance personnel.
Given its size, scope and complexity, Hitachi’s CBTC project for BART will be one of the most extensive signalling projects in the United States and a key pillar of BART’s comprehensive USD $3.5 billion (£2.7 billion) Transbay Corridor Core Capacity Project. When completed in 2029, BART will have the increased capacity to operate 30 ten-car trains per hour on the core corridor.