Poor, Poor Bart

My loyal silver and blue steed known as Bart – www.bart.gov isn’t doing that well these days. It seems to work in correlation to the fact that as I get better, Bart gets worse, since for the last three weeks or so, about 80% of the time, their trains are not running on time. It happens to all public transportation systems at some point, or all the time (as shown by the Tube in London) and I’m fortunate to have the Bart and the fact that it’s usually okay. But, you do start to get concerned when fees have been steadily raised and the system doesn’t really get all the much better. The SFO Airport extension is pretty cool though.
The causes of the problems are varied from the weather (obviously not their fault), to a bad switch on the new SFO extension line, to a what happened today with the ghost train that was wreaking havoc with the system. I wonder where it all stems from as there seems to be a common cause to these problems.
I wouldn’t think it were true, but one day a co-worker was walking by a ticket machine that was rebooting and amazingly, it was rebooting into Windows NT4. Now, this would not be so suprising up through 2001 or 2002, but these machines were installed from the end of 2003 through the beginning of 2004. Why on earth they used such an old system that’s pretty terrible is beyond me, except for the fact that I assume the ticketing machines must need to tie in with existing systems – ie switching and other systems. I find it hard to believe that our lives are depending on NT4 to safely guide the trains we ride, but hey, the military uses Windows and they’re doing pretty good, right…?