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Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) has released its annual sustainability report, which details the progress the agency made last year toward its sustainability goals despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
The biggest change last year was the opening of the Milpitas and Berryessa/North San Jose stations in June 2020. The two new stations help connect BART to San Jose and serve as transit hubs to local bus service to help shorten travel times, reduce local congestion and lower greenhouse-gas emissions from cars, agency officials said in a news release.
The stations also are energy efficient. Tire-derived aggregate — which is a 100% recycled material — was used underneath the track to reduce vibration, saving the equivalent of 300,800 tires from being sent to landfills. In addition, bioretention facilities and low-flow pumps were installed at both stations to help mitigate flooding during large rain events. The station escalators also use motion sensors to conserve energy when there is no foot traffic.
In 2020, more Fleet of the Future trains entered service, with 280 of the cars now in operation. The new cars are built to be at least 7% more energy efficient than legacy vehicles and feature LED lighting, improved regenerative braking and lightweight exteriors.
"[Our] commitment to sustainability is unwavering, and we are both literally and figuratively on the right track," said BART General Manager Bob Powers in the report's introduction.