Sweltering BART train reaches 107 degrees during Bay Area heat wave

The blistering heat led to a second day of problems for BART riders. Many say they're feeling the heat especially on older cars when the air conditioning fails. 

But do you wonder how hot the trains actually are? Well, we took a professional-grade infrared temperature gauge on BART during Tuesday's evening commute and yes, it's hot. 

While parts of the Bay Area have been experiencing triple-digit heat, it wasn't that much different on BART. One car's temperature reading reached 107 degrees. 

Passengers melted away on the sweltering train cars with no air conditioning.   

"Today is by far the worst. Yesterday wasn't that bad. I don't know what it is about today," said passenger Lance Stokes. "It's just much hotter than yesterday." 

"I think I lost five pounds since I got on this train," said Bronwyn Jackson, another BART rider.

It was a tough break for passenger Ryan Gette, who doesn't seem to be getting relief anywhere. 

"I'm sweating in the morning then sweating on the way home and my office has no AC, so I'm sweating in the afternoon. Sweat, sweat, sweat," he said.  

BART officials said the heat can cause rail tracks to warp, which was the reason for delays on Monday. But to a more uncomfortable degree—the trains, during this heatwave—have been more like a moving sauna. 

"I called their customer service line," Jackson said. She said she told them which train car she was in and BART told her they'd send a technician. 

BART officials said they deferred scheduled maintenance on Tuesday until the weekend so technicians could work on car malfunctions due to the heat. 

Several stops later, Ms. Jackson's call for help was answered, at least in the form of a technician. The technician we spoke with said all cars are different and have their own air conditioning. 

BART said older train cars shut down their electricity and air conditioning when overheated and need to be reset. 

We followed the technician as he boarded several trains. One car was too broken to fix. He alerted passengers that they didn't have to stay put and that they should move to a cooler car while they had the chance.

While those passengers may have been lucky, those traveling in the heat wave during peak ridership hours are not so fortunate.