To see how well bikes and BART riders mix -- especially during peak commute hours -- the transit agency will allow bicycles on board its trains all day each Friday in August.
Bicycle rules that apply Monday through Thursday will not change, nor will BART’s prohibition of bikes in the first car and on crowded train cars.
BART insiders have long debated lifting its restrictions, and "I’m happy to see that we’re now about to put the idea to the test," said BART Board Vice President Tom Radulovich in a press statement. Cyclists, particularly the East Bay and San Francisco bicycle coalitions, played a key role in helping design the pilot project, he said.
“We are delighted to see the steps BART is taking to be a truly bicycle-friendly transit system," said Renee Rivera, Executive Director of the East Bay Bicycle Coalition.
The pilot project is following the example of the New York subway system, said BART board member Robert Raburn: “In New York, bikes are allowed, with the caveat for passengers to be courteous and to use common sense.”
Before deciding whether to adopt the practice permanently, the BART board will analyze its impact on operations -- clocking the amount of time a train remains at each station to accommodate bicycle boarding, for instance -- and glean feedback from riders, both cyclists and non-cyclists.
As it stands, bikes are allowed on most trains, except those highlighted in the schedule and QuickPlanner. About 4 percent of passengers ride bikes to BART stations. About 60 percent of that group bring bikes on board trains. The rest use the BART bike stations, lockers or racks.