BART Board eases commute bike restrictions for extended trial
The BART Board of Directors voted tonight to modify existing commute period bike rules for an extended 5 month trial period from July 1-December 1, 2013. The move represents the next phase of testing to observe the impact of allowing bikes on board during busy commute periods. Starting July 1, bikes will be allowed on trains, but during peak commute hours (7 am to 9 am and 4:30 pm and 6:30 pm) bikes are not allowed to board the first three cars of any train to provide options for those who want to avoid bikes altogether.
Other safety rules relating to bikes will still apply such as: no bikes are ever allowed in the first train car at any time, bikes are never allowed on crowded trains, bicyclists must yield priority seating to seniors and those with disabilities, bikes are not to block doorways or aisles and are not allowed on escalators. Folding bikes are allowed on all trains.
“The success we saw in the early phases of testing showed us it is possible to lift the black-out without impacting service,” said Board President Tom Radulovich. “BART has come a long way in accommodating bikes since we opened 40 years ago. Bikes play an important role in helping people move around the region and I am happy to see we are moving toward greater access.”
According to customer surveys, rider acceptance of lifting the ban is increasing with 76% of respondents supporting the move to allow bikes during the commute. BART is also working to double the number of secure bike parking spots at stations to encourage more passengers to commute by bike, and thus free up parking spots for cars, and then leaving the bike behind at the station. A bike etiquette campaign will also begin in July to encourage safe and courteous practices.
As with previous bike pilots, a passenger survey will be conducted for customer feedback. Staff will also continue to observe how bikes impact service. The Board of Directors will evaluate the pilot before the end of the trial period with a full briefing expected at the second Board meeting in October.