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BART tests upgraded earthquake alert system

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf (at podium) speaks at Monday's press conference on the new warning system.
Photo – BART's Twitter account


Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) yesterday rolled out a new earthquake early warning alert system.

Known as ShakeAlert 2.0, the system is designed to provide up to tens of seconds of advance warning that the ground will begin shaking. The alerts enable BART to slow or stop trains ahead of major seismic activity.

During yesterday's demonstration, trains slowed to 27 mph, and stations and trains broadcasted an alert to passengers in a simulation of BART's response to a real ShakeAlert warning, according to an agency media advisory.

ShakeAlert 2.0 was developed by the the U.S. Geological Survey, University of California-Berkeley, California Institute of Technology, University of Washington and University of Oregon in partnership with the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services.

The system also can be used by manufacturers, utility companies and other organizations to establish automatic systems that will initiate actions to protect employees and equipment, BART officials said.

Over the past two years, California has provided $25 million to implement the system. To date, the federal government has provided $46.3 million for the earthquake warning system.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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