BART to lift bike ban for five-month pilot July 1 - December 1
Starting July 1, 2013, BART will temporarily lift its bike restrictions and allow bikes on all trains all at times — with the exception of the peak commute hours (7 am to 9 am and 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm) when bikes will not be allowed to board the first three cars of any train. The first-three-car rule provides an option for those who want to avoid bikes altogether. This pilot program will last five months until December 1, 2013.
Other safety rules relating to bikes will still apply:
- no bikes 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; and
- bikes are not to block doorways or aisles and are not allowed on escalators.
“The success we saw in the early phases of testing showed us it is possible to lift the blackout without impacting service, so we want to extend the testing period to help us determine the future of Bikes on Board BART,” said Board President Tom Radulovich. “The July 1 effective date gave us time to finish modifying all of our train cars to allow for more space for riders with luggage, strollers or bikes; and to launch our new bike etiquette campaign to encourage safe and courteous practices.”
BART ran two previous Bikes on Board pilots, one on Fridays in August 2012 and one for five consecutive weekdays this past March. After reviewing the data compiled from those tests, the BART Board of Directors voted in May to modify existing commute period bike rules for an extended five month trial period from July 1-December 1, 2013. This next phase of testing will allow BART to observe the impact of allowing bikes on board for an extended period during busy commute periods.
"Lifting the bike blackout will make it easier for people on both sides of the Bay to travel regionally by bike, leave their cars at home and spend more time with their families. We applaud BART for continuing to open up more access for bikes," says Leah Shahum, Executive Director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.
BART riders are encouraged to provide their comments and observations at bart.gov/bikes starting July 1. You can also comment by calling this number: (888) 743-9921. As with previous bike pilots, a random sample passenger survey will also be conducted for customer feedback. Staff will also continue to observe how bikes impact service. According to previous customer surveys, rider acceptance of lifting the ban increased with 76% of respondents supporting the move to allow bikes during the commute on all but the first three cars. 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.