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Rail News: Passenger Rail

BART awaits word on rolling blackouts

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) plans to consider whether Bay Area Rapid Transit's electricity use may be classified as essential to maintain the public’s welfare.

If not, Pacific Gas & Electric could impose rolling blackouts, possibly stranding as many as 10 trains carrying 8,000 passengers in the transbay tube two or more hours during rush hour.

BART was categorized as an "essential user" in 1980 when CPUC adopted a list of entities for which blackouts could negatively impact public health, safety and security.

But BART management recently was notified that its status may change.

If rolling blackouts were imposed, all BART’s subway and station systems would be affected, including ventilation, support systems and elevators.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/6/2000