BMW recently announced that their design consultancy and subsidiary DesignworksUSA will be collaborating with Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) on an "ambitious urban transit project": creating the next generation of train cars, scheduled to enter service by 2017.DesignworksUSA's scope of work for BART's Fleet of the Future includes the train cars' exterior, which will convey a style and shape with unique signature expression to the exterior passenger information system. Inside the new train cars, DesignworksUSA will create the main interior design features of the new train cars, and incorporate the controls in the design of the train operator's cab.
Curious to learn more, we were able to find but one previous example of DesignworksUSA's previous work in rail transit in their portfolio, pictured above. Naturally, we're not going to jump to conclusions about what we'll see in 2017, but we hope that they deliver on the promise of "a premium ridership experience" in the public transportation sector.BART's mission is to provide commuters with a viable alternative to driving, and therefore DesignworksUSA's deep expertise creating premium design and user experiences not only in the train category, but also in the aviation and automotive categories, was a key differentiator that further guided their selection for this project.
For their part, BART has started gathering feedback from the general public through "Seat Labs," crowdsourcing, the old fashioned way by collecting surveys on riders' sedentary preferences.
BART is the 5th largest all-rail train system in the USA, serving over 300,000/weekday across two dozen cities in the San Francisco metropolitan area. Yet most of the original fleet of train cars—from 1972—is still in operation today. As they reach the four decade mark, BART is taking steps "to replace the aging and deteriorating fleet of train cars with the "Fleet of the Future." Learn more at www.bart.gov/fleetofthefuture.