The Ugly BART-ling

Coming from Los Angeles, I'm used to spending hours in freeway traffic just so that I can get from my house to the closest department store. While some people may find the notion of driving past billboards covered in graffitti romantic, I am of the belief that being forced to listen to Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" five consecutive times on five different radio stations is just too much for one person's sanity. I was therefore extremely relieved to learn that, up here in NorCal, there's a miraculous thing called BART which can whisk you off to every far-flung corner of the Bay. Anticipating an experience similar to ones I've had in Japan (the trains there are so pristine you almost want to take your shoes off upon entering), I was disappointed to learn that riding in BART is kind of what I imagine sitting in a dumpster must feel like - dark, smelly, and very unpleasant. Harsh words, but the facts speak for themselves.

It seems I'm not the only person complaining, however, because plans are underway to give BART a major makeover, and I am brimming with ideas on how to make this a more enjoyable ride for all of us. Of course, coming from a fashion background, I couldn't help but wonder how some of fashion's great institutions might approach this problem, and once the ball got rolling it just wouldn't stop. So here are my top three ideas on how to transform BART from germ incubator to high fashion train of the future:

1.) Make It Chanel

When it comes to staging runway shows, Karl Lagerfeld knows how to pull out all the stops - giant icebergs, an undersea wonderland, and, most recently, the inside of an airplane cockpit. It's useless to try and predict what the Kaiser might have in mind for little old BART, but it sure is fun trying. For starters, I see one train covered entirely in the Chanel monogram, which is really not much of a stretch considering there is already a Chanel bike and Chanel motorcycle in existence. And while repetitive use of those interlocking C's may cause some awful optical seizures, I cannot stress enough how much of fashion requires suffering for your art.

As for the seats, I have only two words: Quilted. Leather. It'll be just like that Chanel bag you asked for (but didn't get) on your birthday, only you can actually sit on this one. I call it the Chanel Derriere Comfort Chair, and I guarantee it will make your buttocks the happiest pair in the Bay Area!

Now who wouldn't want to rest their buns on a cushion like that?

2.) Too Sexy For This Train

Abercrombie & Fitch is probably a store you haven't stepped foot in since middle school, but somewhere deep in the depths of your closet, hidden next to your old 50 Cent CDs and The O.C. Season 2 DVD, there lies a too-small henley with a little moose logo sewn onto the front. No need to worry, your secret is safe with me - I only bring it up because I've shamelessly stolen my next idea from one of Abercrombie & Fitch's more notable attractions.

The new BART Welcome Committee.

Yes, that's right. The models. We've all seen them standing in the entranceway, basking in their awkward beautiful glory, and their presence always seems to lure in at least a few extra curious visitors. So why not apply the same concept to public transportation? The models are sure to be a big hit with the tourists who have just arrived at SFO, and no one can complain about having some extra eye candy to distract you during those tedious commutes. Suddenly BARTing doesn't sound so bad, eh?

3.) V.I.P. Only

Who needs a party bus when you've got a party train?

Alexander Wang's fashion career is still relatively young, yet he already has a reputation for throwing some crazy parties. Last year he created his own version of a frat party, complete with glow sticks, Greek letters, and keg stands. Alas my invitation always seems to get lost in the mail, which is why I think BART should throw their own version of an A. Wang blowout. The best part is that it would cost them next to nothing - all they have to do is keep the grimy trains as they are now, put a DJ booth and bouncer in every car, and then just wait for the cool kids to come rushing in. Who knows, once word about this exclusive mobile party gets out, BART may even have to start turning some people away!

What improvements do you want to see being made to BART? Let me know what suggestions you have in the comments, and I may just Photoshop your ideas into reality!

All images courtesy of Google and composed by the author.

Aimee Shimizu is currently the Editor of BARE Blog. Contrary to what this article may suggest, she is a great believer in public transportation, and thinks BART is pretty great.


  1. Hilarious! Definitely would like to invite A. Wang to ride on the BART with me.

  2. LOVING these suggestions. Maybe something I would consider is for the bart to take on a kind of googie architecture, retro-modern look. i mean, that's how they look right now so to deliberately do that would make sense