BART directors voted unanimously today to develop a sister transit agency affiliation with the Shanghai Metro in China.
BART Director James Fang of San Francisco, who serves as the transit agency’s liaison to the Shanghai Metro, said an affiliation would benefit both urban transit systems and their customers by sharing experiences, challenges and solutions.
Referring to Shanghai’s transit system, which is one of the fastest-growing rapid transit networks in the world, Fang said, “They have a lot of money and spend a lot but don’t have experience running a system.”
Fang said BART’s 40 years of experience in operating a transit system could be helpful for Shanghai officials.
Fang joined San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and members of the San Francisco Shanghai Sister City Committee in traveling to Shanghai last October to sign the memorandum of understanding.
The memorandum of understanding approved today authorizes General Manager Grace Crunican to execute a sister transit agency agreement with the Shanghai Metro. It identifies five areas that the two transit agencies will mutually explore: smart card technology, communications-based train control systems, management of retail shops at stations, passenger information systems and managing high volume passenger flow.
BART officials said the agencies are both seeking to improve their operational efficiency and manage the passenger flow at stations during peak commuting hours.
According to BART, the Shanghai Metro has the longest system in the world in terms of passenger routes, operating 11 metro lines with 267 stations and 270 miles of track.
The terms of the final sister agency agreement will be subject to approval by the boards of both BART and the Shanghai Metro.
Jeff Shuttleworth, Bay City News