You may have noticed something new this week on the electronic display signs above BART platforms … they’re now including the words “no bikes” for trains at particular locations and times when bikes are not allowed.
The idea is to help everyone – both bicyclists and non-bicyclists alike – be more aware of the bike rules that are in place to deal with safety and capacity issues on BART. BART strives to create conditions as bike-friendly as possible – some 4 percent of BART customers ride a bicycle from their home to a station, and they are an important part of helping to keep cars off our roads. BART offers bike lockers at many stations, and folding bikes are allowed on trains at all times.
However, there are certain "bike blackout" periods during peak commute hours and at certain locations with limited space, due to safety issues on crowded trains and the need to accommodate the most possible riders. A frequently asked question is why BART can’t have a bikes-only car – as is the case on some other systems – but for a number of reasons explained by a BART spokesman in this article that isn’t possible on BART.
However, as part of modifications to improve existing space utilization, dedicated “bike spaces” have been added to certain cars. Also, the long-range project to replace the entire BART fleet is looking at ways to better accommodate bicycles on BART.
If you are interested in policy issues surrounding bikes on BART, you are welcome to attend meetings of the BART Bike Task Force.