Bay Area Rapid Transit

The Bay Area Rapid Transit, BART, is a heavy-rail rapid transit system that connects San Francisco with cities and their suburbs east of the San Francisco Bay (via the Transbay Tube). The system is first opened in 1974 and currently covers 104 revenue miles of tracks. Unlike most rail systems in North America, the BART uses the Indian gauge of 5 ft 6 in.

Train approaching MacArthur Station in Oakland
Contactless smart cards used for electronic fare payment called Clipper are accepted on BART together with 6 other transit agencies in the Bay Area. In 2004, BART became the first subway in the United States to enable cellular service from all major carriers across the system. Today, BART also provides Wi-Fi internet access in downtown stations in San Francisco and the Transbay Tube.

Trains used in the BART system are electric multiple units 4 to 10 cars in length. They draw electricity from an electrified third rail and reach a top speed of 80 mph in service. BART operates 5 lines with timed transfer points between lines. It is currently undergoing expansion and will eventually reach as far as San Jose.


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