image source: BART.gov
My longtime friend and former neighbor, Paul Medved, is a project manager for BART. Paul and I have kayaked together.
With a background in civil engineering, Paul's latest project was the Warm Springs extension for BART. BART is the Bay Area Rapid Transit train system that transports families, students, and commuters to/from Oakland/San Francisco and surrounding cities. BART has about 107 miles of track that is 5'6" wide where 669 train cars travel at an average of 35 mph but can reach speeds of 80 mph. BART fares are based on travel. Riders tag on when entering a station and tag off when exiting a station. The fare is computed based on the distance between the two stations.
The Warms Springs extension went into service on Saturday, March 25, 2017. The new station's location is 5.4 miles south of the Fremont stop.
Since I work at Autodesk, Paul and I often talk shop. Paul's been very happy with AutoCAD and 3ds Max and how those tools help bring this project to completion. As Paul can attest, some of the delays in the station's opening were caused by the difficulty of getting the station's modern technology to work with the existing BART system. Paul noted that it really was a team effort.
BART has grown over time. Previous extensions have included: Colma, Pittsburgh/Bay Point, Dublin/Pleasanton, San Francisco Airport, West Dublin, and Oakland Airport. The Warm Springs extension was completed at half the cost of the San Francisco Airport extension and came in $100 million under budget. (Thanks, Paul.) The Warm Springs extension gets BART closer to San Jose. Dionne Warwick once asked: "Do you know the way to San Jose?" Paul's answer is yes. The first step to go from Fremont to Warm Springs.
Trains are alive in the lab.