Screetching noise is the #1 complaint of BART riders. So what are the noise requirements for the “next-generation” car order?
We received a lot of feedback from the public asking that we make the new fleet quieter than the old cars. As a result, BART will be requiring the carbuilder to meet the highest standards in the United States regarding train car interior noise and noise absorption.
One has to wonder what exactly is meant by “highest standards in the US” given that BART’s own PR department believe they already run the quietest in the nation:
The National Academy of Sciences’ Transit Research Board sponsored an independent study in the 1990s to look at rail sound. The study concluded, “With trued wheels and smooth ground rail on ballast and ties, BART is one of the quietest vehicles in operation at U.S. transit systems.” BART Chief Communications Officer Linton Johnson said that according to the report, “You’d be hard pressed to find a quieter system” anywhere in America.
Just a suggestion, but why not require noise levels meet the highest global standards? Or at least quantify the sustained decibel level riders can expect in the transbay tube with the new cars.