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Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) yesterday released its preliminary $1.56 billion budget for fiscal-year 2016, with a sharpened focus on increased passenger capacity and on-time performance.The proposed budget would put 30 more train cars in service during peak periods, in addition to adding 16 train trips each weekday. Money would also go toward adding two technicians to fix train-control failures, which account for about one-fifth of late trains, BART officials said in a press release.Seven additional ground workers would be hired to keep the right of way clear of obstructions as well."Hope is on the horizon with the new 'Fleet of the Future' rail cars that will begin going into service in late 2017," said BART President Tom Blalock, referring to the agency's plan to add 775 new rail cars to its fleet. "Until then, BART staff is proposing a number of projects to get the most out of our current fleet for our customers."Compared with FY2015's budget, the FY2016 budget calls for spending $51 million more to repair tracks, stations and other assets.Continued investment in BART's Fleet of the Future initiative are a part of the budget, in addition to providing funds for the Hayward Maintenance Complex and the Train Control Modernization Program.The preliminary budget takes into account revenue from a proposed 3.4 percent fare increase, which would go into effect Jan. 1, 2016.
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