BART Removes Wool Seats From Trains | NBC Bay Area
Watch These Delighted BART Riders Say Goodbye to Those Gross Wool Seats (VIDEO) | The Snitch | San Francisco | San Francisco News and Events | SF Weekly
World’s filthiest seats are gone: BART removes final cloth cover | Transportation | San Francisco | San Francisco Examiner
Both passengers and employees say good riddance to those old wool-fabric seats. In their place are vinyl cushions. From the Examiner story,
The seats would get stained and smelly and gross, and they'd be cleaned by removing them and sending them to a dry cleaner for $6000 per railcar. The new seats are much easier to clean; they can be wiped off. They will also likely last longer, about 10 years instead of the 3 years for the old seats. It costed about $9000 per railcar to by new seats, about $6 million for BART"s 669-car fleet. BART's maintenance teams have been replacing the seats since early 2012, and they completed the job on December 30 of last year."Wool seats made a lot of sense in the early '70s [when BART began operating]. They were meant to provide an airline-type of experience," said Jim Allison, a BART spokesman. "But now that we've seen ridership grow, we need to have a more robust, cleanable seating material that ... keeps the cost down as well."
Next up is the floors. They have been carpet, and they will be replaced by a linoleum-like composite material by this summer.
So both these stylistic indulgences have flopped. Something like BART's original cab cars, which stuck outward and could not allow passengers to pass. BART's more recent cab cars have been flat-ended, allowing passengers to pass in midtrain-car fashion. BART's maintenance teams have also removed many of the original cabs, making midtrain cars out of them. BART's replacement railcars will also have flat-end cab cars.