OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) - Major BART delays were reported on Monday after a new Fleet of the Future train got stuck on the tracks in Oakland, officials said.
It happened around 10 a.m. BART spokeswoman Anna Duckworth said there was a Richmond-bound train stuck on the tracks between 12th Street and Lake Merritt stations.
When BART couldn't immediately fix the problem, after an hour, it decided to take the unusual step of having all 421 passengers on board walk to the next station, which was 12th Street. Typically, the transit agency sends rescue trains.
BART BREAKDOWN: Hundreds of @SFBART passengers forced to evacuate a stalled train stuck between Lake Merritt & 12th St Stations in #Oakland today. Officials trying to figure out why new #BART train broke down. Join @HeatherKTVU and I for latest on this issue at 4p on @KTVU pic.twitter.com/hR6NbXRwxZ— Alex Savidge (@AlexSavidgeKTVU) June 24, 2019
Duckworth said mainline technicians were trying to figure out what happened.
"Because it was such a short distance we decided we would minimize time riders had to be stuck. To minimize that we decided to have them walk," Duckworth said.
Passengers walked down a narrow path through a dark tunnel a few hundred feet to the next station. A team of BART employees helped escort the passengers.
One passenger had a bicycle on board. "They said, 'Leave your bike.' I said no, I can't leave my bike," said rider Parish Blake.
BART said everyone made the walk in less than five minutes and that everyone made it safely.
"Nobody panicked. That was a blessing. Everybody remained calm," Blake said.
BART towed the disabled train off the line. The train is part of BART's new Fleet of the Future, which has had software problems in the past.
We asked BART if they were experiencing any buyer's remorse with these newer trains.
"Absolutely not," Duckworth said. "The trains are very popular. Our passengers tell us they like riding them."
BART is still troubleshooting to figure out what went wrong with the train.
Here's what BART riders had to say:
No updates and we have been stuck on this train for almost an hour— Daniel Aderaw Yeshiwas (@dayeshiwas) June 24, 2019
nope!! still stuck here— Zeze Vazquez (@zezevazquez) June 24, 2019
Still no evacuation or rescue train.— Suresh Ramalingam (@Sureshstar) June 24, 2019
A/C is off for last 20 mins, lights are dimming. People are suffering. All this in a brand new fleet of the future train
@SFBART @KTVU @KCBSRadio @nbcbayarea Passengers stuck in a disabled Richmond-bound train in a tunnel for more than an hour. Why does it take BART so long to evacuate them? Why can't they provide accurate updates?— Naresh Singhal (@nareshsinghal) June 24, 2019
This is a first for me- made it one whole stop on @SFBART before the driver kicked everyone off the train and it changed destinations.— Robert Hafner (@tedivm) June 24, 2019
Every week it seems like service was more expensive than the last.