San Francisco and the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system just premiered the shiny new trains coming to the city, but the city isn’t quite celebrating. If you’re a San Fran sports fan looking at those neon green and royal blue seats and handrails, you’ll see red. They’re the colors of the Seattle Seahawks, the NFL rival to the San Francisco 49ers.
A petition to force BART to change the colors was created by a local fan on Tuesday of this week, the same day the pictures of the new trains were released. As of writing, the petition has reached its goal of 2,500 signatures. The petition is hosted here, on Change.org.
The writeup that accompanies the petition calls the choice of colors an ‘outrage and a slap in the face of every San Francisco 49ers fan who rides BART.’ The writer of the petition, Nasir Safdar, also points out the connection of the BART General Manager Grace Crunican to the city of Seattle. She worked as the Director of the Seattle Department of Transportation immediately before her employment with BART. Conspiracy theorists, the floor is yours.
The reason this is such an issue for local sports fans is because of the bitter nature of the rivalry. Surely BART chose the colors because they’re bright and cheerful, but designers didn’t take into account the fact that it was only three months ago that the Seahawks defeated the Niners in the NFC Championship game before taking the Super Bowl. On the BART website, there is a lengthy description about the seats, which are 50% lighter and use silicone cushions. The only information left out is just how they came to the decision for such bold colors that have reminded so many only of Seattle. Frankly, if they don’t change the colors, I worry BART may face increased vandalism against the trains because of the coincidence.
Whether BART will switch to sports-neutral colors waits to be seen. The new trains probably actually hit the tracks until 2017, so there’s plenty more time for this debate to continue. I’m sure the twitterverse is taking the matter very seriously. In the meantime, let’s just be happy this is all occuring during the off-season, when most diehard NFL fans lie dormant.