BART in San Francisco...Secret Question
December 10, 2012 5:51 PM   Subscribe

BART in San Francisco... a secret (ssshhh) question...So I had just boardded Bart on Saturday afternoon, at Millbrae if you must know, and the car I was sitting in was almost empty. There was a girl sitting at one end of the car who looked very unhappy. One of Bart's maintenance people came through the car, picking up trash, etc., and noticed the girl...

...the girl's cell phone was dead, but of course there was no place she could plug it in...I heard the maintenance man say oh yes there was, and told her under certain seats in the BART cars there was an outlet. Sure enough, she moved to a seat he pointed out, she found the outlet, plugged in the phone and had a grin a mile long.

So my SECRET question is, does anyone know WHICH seats on each car have an outlet, eg the 4th seat from the door, etc.? I really don't want to get on a BART car, get down on my hands and knees and start looking under seats...I wonder how fast I'd get arrested for what clearly would appear very odd behavior...

Anyone know? I PROMISE it will be between just you and me :) You can even message me! Thanks :)
posted by america4 to Travel & Transportation around San Francisco, CA (9 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
[You can't have a secret question by posting it on the internet. We are happy to remove this if you want, but otherwise, please just ask/answer questions on the site itself.]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:56 PM on December 10, 2012 [9 favorites]

You would have to verify but see this, but according to this Reddit post, the fourth seat on the right from the side entrance.
posted by Wolfster at 5:58 PM on December 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

jessamyn... it is a REAL question, was just using a little humor.
posted by america4 at 6:08 PM on December 10, 2012 [5 favorites]

Wolfster... thank you for that link. And so quick! I'll definitely check it out...
posted by america4 at 6:11 PM on December 10, 2012

BART cars do have power outlets. Take a look at the base of the seat, Wolfster's suggestion is a good one. They are down low, just look.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 11:22 PM on December 10, 2012

Unless I'm mistaken, those outlets are for cleaning equipment. It's not designed for electronic components. While I can't deny I've used similar outlet, I'd be worried about their effect on batteries or electronic equipment in general.
posted by Yowser at 1:34 AM on December 11, 2012

Older rail cars frequently have several power outlets for maintenance equipment & cleaning personal. If you need power, it makes sense to look around a bit under the seats and along the walls.
Newer rail car design normally takes into account device charging. Generally outlets are either completely removed or many more of them are installed (it is standard for most new first class wagons).
posted by jazh at 1:40 AM on December 11, 2012

I didn't know that about BART, thanks!
The Muni trains have outlets below the seats on the wall-divider-thing in the second half of the car. Sometimes drivers will notice your charging and yell at you, sometimes they won't.
posted by blnkfrnk at 12:23 PM on December 11, 2012

I wouldn't worry too much about a cellphone charger, laptop charger, or other modern (switchmode) power supply. They're usually capable of operating from a very wide range in input voltages, and most aren't even too picky about frequency. Often, they can even run directly from high-voltage DC.

In general, the name-brand original charger is better-built than the cheap knockoffs. I use a cheapie daily, so it'll take the brunt of the mechanical fatigue, but I keep the original for inverter use and other times when the power quality might be poor.

Nota bene: There are two other power supply types in common use: The older heavy-brick transformers are only happy with AC, and only within their stated voltage range. The TRIAC choppers (common in some lighting products) can't tolerate DC or even a badly misshapen sine wave, as I learned when I tried to run a cheap wall-wash accent light from an inverter!
posted by Myself at 8:39 PM on December 11, 2012

« Older Podcasts in Portuguese. Suggestions?   |   Do you work at Ford and drive a Ford? Help a guy... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.