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Bay Area Rapid Transit's (BART) first "Fleet of the Future" rail car has been completed and is headed from Plattsburgh, N.Y., to the agency's testing facility in Hayward, Calif.
The car will be followed by nine others throughout the year to make BART's first 10-car test train, agency officials in a news release.Upon arrival, the car will undergo several months of testing before being put into passenger service. It's expected the unit will go into service in December, BART officials said.The new cars are expected to run more quietly due to "micro-plug" doors that help seal out noise. The units also feature cooling systems that distribute air directly to the ceilings, padded seats, color-coded BART system maps and wider aisles. Bombardier Transit Corp. is building the new cars.As part of its Fleet of the Future initiative, BART has ordered 775 new cars. The agency is hoping to secure funding to increase that number to 1,081, BART officials said. With that many cars in service, the number of seats in the fleet would increase by almost 50 percent.The 775 cars will arrive in the San Francisco Bay Area in stages from 2016 through 2021, with the last 10 test cars arriving in 2016 and an additional 54 cars arriving next year. BART will begin retiring the aging cars "when appropriate," agency officials said.