bart_generic.jpgIt could take weeks to determine what caused a computer glitch that brought BART service to a halt on Monday evening, a BART spokesman said.

BART service was back to normal Tuesday morning after the problem forced BART to stop trains in service and let passengers off.

BART spokesman Linton Johnson explained that the problem occurred when a network router failed. Normally when that happens, the router is supposed to communicate the problem to another router, but for some reason that did not happen Monday, he said.

As a result, information was not getting to BART’s Operations Control Center, and personnel at the center were unable to monitor trains.

It is still unclear what caused the problem, which began shortly after 7:30 p.m. The system was rebooted at 9:50 p.m., and service was fully restored around 11:15 p.m.

It took a while to address the problem because computer engineers had gone home for the day, Johnson said. Now, he said, a staff member will be on duty to monitor the data intake during all of BART’s operating hours until the cause has been pinpointed.

“We need to get to the root cause,” Johnson said.

He said Monday evening was “miserable” for many BART riders and called it an “embarrassing moment” for BART.

“We can’t apologize enough,” he said.

Johnson said that although the glitch created a major inconvenience, it did not put BART riders in any danger.

“We have a lot of redundancies in place so that when things fail, they fail safely,” he said.

Erika Heidecker, Bay City News

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