Bay Area

BART trains running smoothly after Saturday's computer failure

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) -- A computer network failure caused all BART trains to be out of service for three hours Saturday morning.

BART officials originally thought scheduled maintenance on the systems caused the outage -- but they quickly determined that was not the cause.

BART trains are now running smoothly following the major glitch that shut down service for a few hours over the weekend.

Officials were able to safely restart the system and eventually provide train service to those that needed to use BART, but there are still some key questions that need to be answered.

“Why were we vulnerable to the system failure? We have redundancies in place, so why didn't they work or what went wrong to cause the redundancies not to work,” asked BART Communications Manager Alicia Trost.

Trost says they're not lost on the impact Saturday's shutdown had on its riders.

“Saturday we typically get 150,000 riders -- this was only for three hours in the morning, so it was just a tiny fraction of that, but it was still people who needed to get to work and other important places,” Trost said.

Riders headed to work or the airport that morning, were instead given free rides on bus bridges -- connecting them to their final destination, but not without delay.

“We ride BART often, most every week every two weeks,” said rider Eric Enberg.

Engberg is hoping a definitive answer comes soon.

“The concern is that they really understand what caused it of course so it doesn't happen again during commute hours,” Engberg said.

Trost is hoping that doesn't happen either.

On Saturday, engineers had to reset more than 100 different locations in the field.

They know the glitch was software related, and that it was specifically one switch that caused the train systems to stall.

But what they don't know is how.

“We have sent the data to Cisco which is who provides the computer network and the system and they are performing a comprehensive forensic analysis of exactly what happened so we have a better idea of what happened and if anything needs to be fixed so it doesn't happen again,” Trost said.

“Hopefully they get it together because it's my main choice of transportation,” said another BART rider, Tony Walker.

Despite Saturday's glitch, most riders aren't too phased.

“I'm not concerned. They have issues sometimes, but they're pretty quick with resolving it,” Rider Laurel Gonzales.

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