Known as BART, this automated, electric, (Third Rail), commuter train is comfortable, fast, frequent and quiet. Comprised of 104 miles of track and 450 streamlined cars. The system is based in downtown Oakland
at the "Merritt Station", BART trains extend north - south from Fremont
and east - west from the San Francisco International Airport
, under the city of San Francisco
and the San Francisco Bay to Pittsburg in the East Bay. There is another BART line from the Hayward area toward the east, out to Pleasanton.
BART transformed the entire San Francisco Bay Area. Entire communities sprang to life along its routes. BART carries hundreds of thousands of residents and visitors reducing highway traffic load, (Highways are still clogged during commute hours), and decreasing the commute time from home to work to jobs around the bay.
There is a major service gap, BART has no tracks between the San Francisco Airport and San Jose, about 45 miles, on the San Francisco Peninsula. Train commute service is provided on the San Francisco Peninsula by "CALTRAIN". Cal-Train is actually a traditional diesel train and cars forming an extension of the AMTRAK line, (But not AMTRAK), from The AMTRAK / Cal-Train San Jose Terminal to the edge of downtown San Francisco at 4th & King Streets.
The main AMTRAK line continues from the San Jose station on the east side of the bay through Oakland and Richmond.
The American Public Transportation Association has selected BART as the winner of the prestigious 2004 Outstanding Achievement Award.