New BART station opens in Fremont


Photo by Evelyn Tijero/The Pioneer

Louis LaVenture,

A huge glass rotunda with bright red letters that spell Warm Springs / South Fremont greeted riders on March 25 when the new BART station opened for business. It’s been seven years, just less than $800 million and the new station is running, but not without hiccups.

The new station does not yet offer full service. According to multiple BART statements, during weekdays, riders that board at the new station can go anywhere on the Daly City line from Warm Springs. However, if you’re on the Richmond line, you have to get off at the Fremont station and transfer to a northbound train. Then at 6 p.m. and on weekends, the schedule flips and will function this way until 2018 when the station will be fully functional.

Many riders that talked to The Pioneer on Monday were confused by the system. One of those riders is Zachary Burnett who is a Fremont resident that works in Antioch and was looking forward to the new transit option for his Monday-through-Friday commute to work.

“880, 580 and 680 are all so congested, it just makes more sense for me to take BART and avoid the traffic,” Burnett said. “But having to get off at Fremont and switch trains to get to the last stop is crazy to me. It actually adds time to my commute.”

Burnett said the transfer process adds about 30 minutes to his commute that is already more than an hour long by car or train.

According to BART spokesman Jim Allison, the project was completed $100 million under budget thanks to the process going smoothly and not requiring extra construction or service. There are not enough trains to run full service right now, however, and at time of publication it was unclear how many trains are currently used and how many would be needed to provide full service. BART officials recently designed and ordered new cars with the help of input and surveys from riders, which will begin to be installed in their fleet in yearly increments. According to BART, they plan to have 35 new cars by the end of 2017 and 166 new cars by the end of 2018 with a goal of 775 new cars by the end of 2022.  According to Allison, full service will begin in 2018, when they receive new train cars.

“This was not a last minute decision,” Allison said. “We’ve incorporated it into our quick planner that can be found on our website. You plug in the originating station and it will tell you how to get to where you want to go. It’s been up for Warm Springs since March 10. Anybody who did a little homework would have seen that.”

According to BART, this is the first extension to go South past the Fremont station since BART officially opened in 1972. The station was originally supposed to open in 2014 but was delayed due to “electrical power issues” as well as “a problem syncing the new train control software” with BART’s older network.