BART passengers endured a commute headache Wednesday that may have caused some of them to yearn for good, old-fashioned bumper-to-bumper traffic.
A major snafu within the BART system's computerized track system was the primary reason trains were delayed for up to at least 30 minutes beginning at 5:08 p.m., BART spokesman Jim Allison said.
But that wasn't the only problem.
Trains through the Transbay Tube were delayed by about 15 minutes each after one train went through the tube with its emergency brake on, Allison said. That mistake caused a residual affect for all trains heading through the tube, Allison said.
A fight between two individuals at the 12th Street station required a police response, slowing down things even more, Allison said. It was not known if any arrests were made.
"It was kind of an unholy trinity of events," Allison said.
The one that trumped the others, though, was the mishap within the track's computerized system, Allison said. Track computers reported a "false occupancy" on the tracks between the Oakland's McArthur and 19th Street stations around 5 p.m. In such an event, Allison said, the track computer that communicates with the trains recognizes that something is "occupying" the tracks and causes the trains to slow down and stop.
BART is investigating why the computers reported the false occupancy, Allison said.
Trains negotiated the tracks between the affected area slowly, creating a major systemwide delay, Allison said. Trains on three of BART's four lines travel through the McArthur, 12th Street and 19th Street stations. All four lines go through the tube.
Delays were down to 10 minutes throughout the system by about 7:30 p.m., Allison said. All trains were back on time about 15 minutes later.
Rick Hurd covers breaking news. Contact him at 925-945-4780 and follow him at Twitter.com/3rdERH.