Computer glitch slows Bay Area transit

OAKLAND, Calif. — A computer problem shut down a major San Francisco Bay Area transit agency for several hours on Friday morning, forcing at least some commuters to find an alternate way to get to their destinations.

Bay Area Rapid Transit trains resumed service at about 50 percent of capacity around 7:15 a.m., a little more than three hours after train service normally resumes. BART spokesman Jim Allison said 53 trains were back in service shortly after 8 a.m., about nine short of full capacity.

The system has been shut down two other times in recent months as a result of an ongoing labor dispute. BART is the nation’s fifth largest commuter rail system and has an average weekday ridership of 400,000.

“If there’s any consolation, this occurred on a Friday which is usually one of our lighter days,” Allison said. “Had this been on a Tuesday or Wednesday, then it could’ve affected more people. We’re sorry it happened.”

Friday’s computer problem began after midnight, and affected 19 trains with 500 to 1,000 passengers. Allison said computer systems were not communicating properly with track switches that route trains.

Officials had hoped to resume service at 5 a.m., but were unable to meet that deadline.

Commuters have endured two other recent BART service disruptions when workers walked off the job in July and again in October.

The shutdowns snarled the Bay Area commute, as people turned to crowded buses, ferries and roadways as alternatives.

Jill Ann Cosentino, 35, of Oakland, was at the West Oakland BART station on Friday morning, glad to be able to get to her job as an event planner in San Francisco. But she noted BART’s recent problems.

“BART has been so inconsistent this year, a bad year for them,” she said.

And more trouble could be brewing for the transit agency after BART’s board on Thursday approved a labor agreement that ended the last strike, but removed a sick leave provision that was supported by unions.

The transit agency said the provision could cost $44 million over four years if one-third of union workers take six-week leaves each year.

BART officials announced last week that the provision had been inadvertently included in the proposed contract.

The decision created uncertainty about the fate of the tentative contract. Union representatives called the move an unfair labor practice and said they intended to discuss the matter with attorneys.

More in Herald Business Journal

Tulalips break ground on new Quil Ceda Creek Casino Hotel

A 150-room hotel was added to what is now a $140 million complex expected to open in spring 2019.

For modern women, 98-year-old rejection letters still sting

In a stark new video, female Boeing engineers break the silence about past inopportunity.

Angel of the Winds pays $3.4M for Everett arena naming rights

The casino replaces Xfinity as the lead sponsor for the publicly owned downtown Everett events center.

Teddy, an English bulldog, models Zentek Clothing’s heat regulating dog jacket. (Ian Terry / The Herald)
Everett clothing company keeps your dog cool and stylish

Zentek uses space-age fabrics to moderate the temperature of pets and now humans.

Providence Hospital in Everett at sunset Monday night. Officials Providence St. Joseph Health Ascension Health reportedly are discussing a merger that would create a chain of hospitals, including Providence Regional Medical Center Everett, plus clinics and medical care centers in 26 states spanning both coasts. (Kevin Clark / The Daily Herald)
Merger would make Providence part of health care behemoth

Providence St. Joseph Health and Ascension Health are said to be talking. Swedish would also be affected.

Bombardier promotes its C Series airliner as American made

It says more than half its all-new jet is made in US factories with final assembly near Montreal.

Everett engineers learn lessons from Mexico City catastrophe

Structural scientists went to help after the September earthquake there and studied the damage.

Airports want to nearly double passengers’ user fees

Delta says airports will rake in $3.6 billion in passenger facility charge taxes this year.

UPS delays mount as online shopping hobbles courier’s network

FedEx completed 97.1 percent of its ground deliveries on time in the same period.

Most Read