Update as of 2:15 pm: A computer router failure caused yesterday’s BART shutdown. That’s according to BART spokesperson Linton Johnson. The routers send information about the trains from the side of the tracks to the central computer system. There are two routers and in the case of a failure, one is supposed to take over for the other. But both of them failed last night.

Johnson says BART officials are still looking for the root cause of the failure. But in the meantime they have backup computer staff on hand. And they know the interim fix for the problem if they both go down again.

Concept for new trains, courtesy of BART
Concept for new trains, courtesy of BART

Meanwhile… Monday evening’s hour long outage of BART’s control system generated a whole lot of anger online.

Perhaps it’s good then that BART is actually readying itself for a big upgrade. This Thursday it’s kicking off a series of open houses where you can look at the Fleet of the Future (see above).

The new fleet was designed along with a BMW design team. According to the Bay Citizen the new cars will also have easily cleaned, wipeable seats. Good thing, that was a big deal to people who took part in this seat “taste test.”

But comfy seats aren’t too helpful if there’s no train to sit on. Did you get caught up in yesterday’s outage?  Searching “BART stuck” on storify shows plenty of 140 character glimpses into the outage.

I definitely have a love/hate relationship with BART. Monday night, after working O/T,I get on BART to go home around 8:30 to find their central computer system is down and all trains at a stand still. They are suggesting passengers find alternate transportation!! I get home at 11:00!! Their slogan, “BART and you’re there”…turned into “BART and you’re stuck there.”
Tony de la Riva
August 9, 2011
@theSusyness I got stuck in the city because of BART last night, didn’t get hone until about 1am :/
August 9, 2011
BART system broke down, meaning trains stuck in the transbay tube? I know I would have said: This is like the beginning to a horror movie
August 8, 2011
Met some random lady. Bart was stuck. I rode the bus with her then got dropped off home. What a day.
August 8, 2011
Grrrrr..Stuck in bart for past 3 hrs, sum computer problems..starving tired sleepy donno if and when will i get home tonite 🙁 this is crazy
Krupa Raval
August 8, 2011
How funny is this loyal Giants fans left game early because there team was LOSING and they ended up getting stuck on BART because of a computer glitch
Allan Chin
August 8, 2011

It makes you wonder that if all those folks are on social media, couldn’t they have fixed the whole problem of where the trains were with crowd sourcing? Who needs a master control… just have everyone on the train check in with their progress on foursquare or facebook.

And this is an unofficial add to BART’s image, but the transit system has a new rap anthem. Forget shiny wheels. This video by East Bay duo Malki Means King and Juey Starberry sings the praises of pub transit and the electric third rail.

BART News Chugs Along…Haltingly 9 August,2011Rachel Dornhelm