BART seizes on bridge gridlock to lobby for $1.25B grant

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Bay Area officials say the federal government has been holding up a $1.25 billion federal grant that is needed to increase BART’s passenger capacity for the train system.

BART officials on Wednesday upped the pressure to get the funds, saying that a fatal crash on the Bay Bridge brought them 10,000 additional passengers.

This month, California’s U.S. senators sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Transportation secretary urging immediate action on the grant application that has languished for 18 months.

BART is seeking the grant to buy a new train-control system, new rail cars, a set of storage tracks for its Hayward yard and traction power substations to carry more people through its Transbay Tube.

About 27,000 passengers currently move through the tube every hour.

The improvements would boost that number to 39,000 people.

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