BART Rolls Out Upgraded Earthquake Alert System

The new sensor technology gives riders up to a minute to drop, cover, and hold on.
October 9, 2018, 7am PDT | Elana Eden
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Sheila Fitzgerald

BART has rolled out a major upgrade to the alert system that automatically slows trains before an earthquake hits, reports Erin Baldessari in Mercury News. The system can give riders up to a minute's notice before a quake.

ShakeAlert 2.0 is part of a multi-state program designed to help public agencies develop preventative protocols for earthquakes. The network of more than 800 sensors in California, Washington, and Oregon is a long-running project by the U.S. Geological Survey, UC Berkeley, the California Institute of Technology, the University of Washington, and the University of Oregon, as well as the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services.

The new upgrade provides officials with more instant information about an earthquake, including its estimated magnitude, the location of its epicenter, and the expected severity of shaking. The USGS is working on a pilot to notify the public through a mobile app.

BART is also in the midst of a $1.3 billion seismic retrofit of its oldest stations, which is expected to wrap up in 2022.

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Published on Monday, October 8, 2018 in Mercury News
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