Structures / Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) System
The beginning of the Bay Area Transit District originally started from a recommendation by a joint United States Army-Navy report citing a need for another link across the San Francisco Bay to reduce traffic congestion on the existing San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge in the years to come. Following this report, the district was formed representing the five counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco and San Mateo. The joint venture of Parsons-Brinkerhoff-Tudor-Bechtel (known as PB-T-B) provided the general engineering design and construction management. Construction officially started in 1964 between Walnut Creek and Concord. Beginning in November 1966, 57 Transbay Tube segments were lowered using ballast into the San Francisco Bay to create a 3.8-mile connection between Oakland and San Francisco. Of the 57 segments, 18 incorporated either horizontal or vertical curves to accommodate the chosen alignment. The steel is 3/8-inch thick and was manufactured by Kaiser Steel in the Bethlehem Shipyard in South San Francisco. On September 16, 1974 passenger service began, representing a major milestone in placing the full 71.5-mile system in operation. Today, the system is a critical transportation link to the entire San Francisco Bay Area, with an average weekly ridership of over 400,000 passengers.
The Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system consists of over 112 miles of track and includes underground stations, reinforced concrete viaducts, and a 24-foot by 50-foot steel structure for the Transbay Tube crossing.
- BART is featured in many Hollywood films such as THX113 and the Pursuit of Happyness.
- BART is also the feature of a ride at Universal Studios Orlando which creates a scene for the rider to experience the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake at the Embarcadero Station.