The East Bay Regional Transportation District (ARBTD) announced Tuesday that it will start enforcing the new standard on commercial tires beginning this summer.
East Bay Regional Transit District says it is “making the switch to the new tire standard that will require manufacturers to install and test each of the five tires that are used in all East Bay light-rail vehicles and the three bus lanes.”
The standard applies to all new and used tires.
The changes will require that new commercial tires must be installed and tested at least once a year and each manufacturer will need to install one new commercial tire at each of its East Bay transit hubs.
To make sure the tires are up to standards, each hub will be equipped with an inspection system that will look for defects, including tread wear and water damage.
Each new commercial bus lane, and each bus terminal, will also have an inspection station that will test each new commercial surface.
“We have a great system in place for inspections,” said East Bay Transit District Executive Director and Transit Authority of San Francisco Board President Ron Heilman.
“The goal is to make sure we are doing it right and making sure that every East Bay resident, commuter and business is being served.”
The new standard will apply to buses, light-train, commuter, and light-truck vehicles, but it is expected that all buses and light rail will be tested by 2020.
In the past, East Bay and the San Francisco Bay Area Transportation Authority (SFBTA) have worked together on developing a set of standards to monitor the performance of commercial tires.
The first set of rules were developed in 2000, but the two sides have had differing interpretations of the standards.
Since then, the two agencies have worked out a common set of requirements that are being adopted in the East Bay.
SFBTSA officials said they were pleased with the decision to adopt the new standards.
“It is an important step in improving tire performance and safety in the region,” said San Francisco BTSA Executive Director Bob Blount.
“It is also important that we take this into account when assessing safety and the quality of the products we use.”
The East Bay BTSAs goal is for every bus in the transit system to have at least five commercial tires, and to ensure that the majority of buses are using the new commercial standard.
As the transit district moves forward with implementing the new tires standard, it is also expected that the BTSTA will expand the testing procedures to other transit systems in the area.