A computer network outage interrupted BART Saturday for the start of its morning service, leaving the doors of the stations closed at its usual start time and blocked trains.
Around 11 am, the agency resumed normal service in all stations of the system. Trains began to run on several lines just after 9 am, but there was no service south of Daly City, including the San Francisco International Airport, for about two more hours.
The system's computer network broke down around 2:45 am, disrupting BART's traction and train control systems, said Cheryl Stalter, a spokeswoman for the agency. The pulling power sends energy to the trains, and the train control system is the way the agency stops, starts and routes the trains.
Officials initially thought that the planned maintenance of the system's power system had caused the shutdown, but Stalter said that they had since determined that this n & # 39; Was not the case.
In any case, without the online systems, the agency was not able to send trains safely. And officials did not immediately answer questions about why layers of redundancy did not prevent the failure.
BART performs a "full forensic evaluation" to determine exactly what caused the computer network failure, Stalter said. The analysis should last several days.
A handful of aspiring BART cyclists waited in front of the locked gates at Lake Merritt station on Saturday morning.
David Lei, a 16-year-old from Oakland, arrived at the station around 6:30 am. He had to take BART to his job in San Francisco and waited outside for almost an hour. Luckily, said Lei, he had been in contact with his supervisor to talk about the problems and would not have problems with the delay.
"What can I do about it?" Said Lei. "Be patient."
Some said that they would find other ways to get to their destination. A runner named Nick, who refused to give his last name, called for a Lyft, which would allow him to work for a medical company in San Francisco, but would also add $ 20 to the cost of his trip.
"BART is generally more reliable than a complete no-show," he said.
For a while after the start of train traffic, the ATMs were out of use, forcing the agency to leave the doors open and offer everyone a free ride. The train station signs were also unavailable about 30 minutes after the train started, leaving the passengers perplexed on the train that was to arrive.