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Bay Area Rapid Transit

BART (in full, San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District) is a rapid transit electric train service that serves parts of the San Francisco Bay Area, including the cities of San Francisco and Oakland. The trains are computer-controlled and arrive on-time with regular accuracy. Drivers are present in case of unforseen difficulties.

The BART system was first proposed in 1946 by Bay Area business leaders concerned with increasing post-war migration and congestion in the region. An Army-Navy task force concluded that another trans-bay crossing would soon be needed to relieve congestion on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. The idea of an underwater electric rail tube was deemed the best solution in conjunction with a multiple-county rapid transit rail system.

After years of review and planning, BART construction officially began on June 19, 1964. President Lyndon Johnson presided over the ground-breaking ceremonies at a 4.4-mile test track between Concord and Walnut Creek in Contra Costa County.

Enormous construction tasks were at hand, including underground rail sections below downtown Oakland and Market Street in San Francisco, and a tunnel through the Berkeley Hills, as well as the 3.8-mile transbay tube itself, which was lowered to the bottom of the bay by a small armada of construction vessels. The tube, constructed in 57 sections, was completed in August 1969 at a cost of $180 million.

BART began regular passenger service on September 11, 1972. President Richard Nixon rode the system on September 27, 1972.

There are five routes:

A $1.4832 billion extension of BART southward beyond Colma is nearing completion. Ground was broken in November 1997, and the first trains are set to run on June 22, 2003. The extension will add four new stations in South San Francisco, San Bruno, Millbrae, and, via a spur, San Francisco International Airport. The project encompasses 8.7 miles of new rail track, of which 6.1 miles is subway, 1.2 miles is aerial, and 1.4 miles is at-grade. [1] (http://www.bart.gov/news/features/news_8466.asp) [2] (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2003/04/18/MN89853.DTL)

An extension of BART southward past Fremont towards San Jose is also proposed, but studies remain to be completed and funding to be acquired.

SFBARTD is a governmental district, consisting of the counties through which BART passes, namely Alameda County, Contra Costa County, and San Francisco County. It has its own police officers, who ride the trains as their beat.

In total, the SFBARTD encompasses the cities of Alameda, Alamo, Albany, Antioch, Bay Point, Bethel Island, Berkeley, Brentwood, Byron Castro Valley, Clayton, Clyde, Concord, Crockett, Danville, Discovery Bay, Dublin, El Cerrito, El Sobrante, Emeryville, Fremont, Hayward, Hercules, Kensington, Knightsen, Lafayette, Livermore, Martinez, Moraga, Newark, Oakland, Oakley, Orinda, Pacheco, Piedmont, Pleasanton, Pinole, Pittsburg, Pleasant Hill, Port Costa, Rodeo, Richmond, San Francisco, San Leandro, San Lorenzo, San Pablo, San Ramon, Sunol, Union City and Walnut Creek. While the district includes all of these cities in its jurisdiction, the BART system only has stations in a few of these cities.

Connecting Bus Transit Services

A number of bus services connect to BART, which are managed by separate agencies, but which are integral to the successful functioning of the system. The main services include the San Francisco Municipal Railway (Muni), the Alameda-Contra Costa Transit[?] (AC Transit), San Mateo County Transit District[?] (SamTrans), and Contra Costa County Transit Authority[?] (County Connection).

BART is "connected" to Oakland International Airport via AirBART shuttle buses which connect travellers to the Coliseum/Oakland Airport BART station.

Smaller services connect as well, including the Emery-go-round[?] in Emeryville, California. The bus service connecting the University of California at Berkeley to the Berkeley BART station was once called Humphrey Go-Bart[?].

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