Home California BART Suspends Red Line Service, Orange Line Only Between Richmond and MacArthur

BART Suspends Red Line Service, Orange Line Only Between Richmond and MacArthur

Press Release

by ECT

BART service between Richmond and MacArthur stations is limited to Orange Line service only due to power issues experienced in the section. Currently there are no Red Line trains in service. This service impact will be in place for a few days as crews work continuously to mitigate the issue and restore service.

Orange Line trains will be running a normal schedule. Riders between Richmond and Ashby stations can expect a train every 15 minutes in both directions on weekdays. On weekends, trains will be arriving every 30 minutes in both directions on the Orange Line.

If riders between Richmond and Ashby stations are traveling to/from San Francisco/SFO, they will need to transfer between an Orange Line train and a Yellow Line train:

  • If traveling TO San Francisco, riders can expect a timed transfer between an Orange Line train and a Yellow Line train at MacArthur Station
  • If traveling FROM San Francisco, riders can expect a timed transfer between an Orange Line train and a Yellow Line train at 19th St. Oakland Station

Due to no Red Line service, BART will be providing a shuttle train between SFO Station and Millbrae Station. If traveling to SFO from the East Bay, please take a Yellow Line train, which provides direct service. Currently, the Trip Planner does not reflect the addition of this shuttle train.

Riders between Richmond and Ashby stations who wish to skip the major service impacts can bike or take AC Transit buses, which connect at multiple BART stations. The following connecting bus routes are:

  • 72M (Richmond, El Cerrito del Norte, El Cerrito Plaza, North Berkeley, 19th St Oakland)
  • 72R (El Cerrito del Norte, El Cerrito Plaza, North Berkeley, 19th St Oakland)
  • 72 (El Cerrito del Norte, El Cerrito Plaza, North Berkeley, 19th St Oakland)
  • 6 (Downtown Berkeley, MacArthur, 19th St Oakland)
  • 18 (Downtown Berkeley, MacArthur, 19th St Oakland)
  • 51B (North Berkeley, Downtown Berkeley, Rockridge)

Riders between Richmond and Ashby stations may also choose to park and ride at MacArthur, Rockridge, or West Oakland stations, which are unimpacted and have parking lots. All three stations have parking capacity currently.

 What the Issue Is

On Sunday, March 6, 2022, BART experienced a power traction cable fault (or break) between El Cerrito Plaza and Ashby stations. While Orange Line service has been restored, the damaged cables are unable to feed enough electricity to run additional trains at this time.

On Monday, March 7, 2022, BART experienced a substation failure in the same section which led to power loss between El Cerrito del Norte and North Berkeley stations in the morning. While the substation failure had great impact on Monday, staff who are responding to this issue have concluded that the cable fault is the main culprit of the service impact. BART has sufficient redundant substations in its system to be able to distribute electricity to different parts of the system in need, and thus the substation failure is not a critical issue.

The damaged cables are part of the original 34.5 kV cables which BART has been replacing systemwide for years. The cables were installed in the 1970s as part of BART’s original infrastructure and have outlasted their useful life 50 years later. Cable replacement work has been ongoing in both San Francisco and in Alameda County as a major part of voter-approved Measure RR rebuilding work. The cables will be replaced with latest generation cable technology, which can reliably feed electricity to trains in service. In a stroke of misfortune, this section of cables were to begin replacement on March 10, 2022 — just four days before its damage created this service impact.

Currently crews have located the cable fault and are working to restore service as expediently as possible. However, due to the severity and complexity of this repair, crews may need extra days to fully repair the issue so BART riders can expect a more reliable ride in this section for the foreseeable future.

BART is also exploring running shorter trains (around 5 cars per train) at much higher frequencies to alleviate the service impact between Richmond and MacArthur stations.

BART will be updating and providing more information on this article and on social media. Follow us at @SFBART on Twitter, https://www.facebook.com/bartsf on Facebook.

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