Pilot program approved for Segway use on BART

08.19.08

Pilot program approved for Segway use on BART

BART’s Board of Directors has approved a one-year pilot program regarding the use of Segways and other Electric Personal Assistive Mobility Devices (EPAMD) on the BART system.

Those who wish to use a Segway or similar device on BART will be able to do so after applying for and receiving one of a yet-to-be-determined, but limited number of free permits. BART will require permit holders to follow a few simple rules that mainly restrict the use of the devices to address safety and crowding concerns. 

Permit applications are available now at www.bart.gov/epamd

The Segway pilot program has two elements -- one for persons with disabilities and another for those without. Non-disabled EPAMD users will be able to bring their devices onto the system during non-commute hours and follow the same general rules governing bike use. The highlights of the policy include:
  
PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES:

  • Must have a free BART permit, which they must display while on system
  • Can use EPAMD at any time
  • Must push or pull EPAMD in power off/safe power-assist mode in elevators, platforms and on trains
  • Must always use elevators and never on escalators even during an elevator outage

PEOPLE WITHOUT DISABILITIES:

  • Must have a free BART permit, which they must display while on system
  • Can only use during hours when BART allows bikes on trains and never on crowded trains at any time
  • Must always use elevators and never on escalators even during an elevator outage
  • Must push or pull EPAMD in power off/safe power-assist mode in all areas of station, including concourse level, platform level, elevators and trains
  • Must secure EPAMD near train doors or in wheelchair space if not occupied
  • Must not block train aisle or doors and yield space to seniors and persons with disabilities
  • Should turn device perpendicular to the front of the train while on-board to minimize its propensity to roll
  • Must keep EPAMD out of first train car

BART Police will enforce the policy.  Officers can escort those who violate the policy off BART property and can revoke their permit.

The Board adopted the policies to address safety concerns following several incidents involving EPAMDs on the BART system.  The latest incident was on June 18 when a runaway Segway ran off the platform and into the trackway at 24th Street Station causing a train to hit it, which in turn caused delays for thousands of passengers and forced BART to take the train out of service.

“We are regulating the riding of Segways in the station area, especially on platforms, for safety reasons,” BART Board President Gail Murray said.  “Segways are designed to continue rolling when someone lets go of them and could easily hurt another passenger or as we’ve seen disable a train.  We realize the policy does put some restrictions on those with disabilities, but we took the advice of BART’s Accessibility Task Force, which includes members of the disabled community, to develop a policy that balances safety for all our passengers as well as accessibility for those with disabilities.”

BART encourages people with disabilities who cannot push or pull their EPAMD on the platform levels to use the Bay Area’s extensive paratransit network.