BART’s computer failure reveals system flaws

Monday’s computer glitch, which forced Bay Area Rapid Transit (CA) to shut down service for more than two hours, highlighted the need for modernizing the 40-year-old system. The cause of the failure — which occurred when two routers failed to communicate with each other — is still under investigation but the San Francisco Chronicle suggests that age of the system was a factor. According to the Chronicle, BART officials say the system needs $15 billion in upgrades over the next 25 years but only about half of the required funds have been identified. Among the upgrades are new rail cars, and the agency is currently seeking public feedback on design concepts for its Fleet of the Future. “Things like routers and train control systems aren’t as sexy as new rail cars,” said spokesman Linton Johnson. “But you can’t run trains without those systems.” Link to full story in San Francisco Chronicle.

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