East Bay News

BART rolling out program to allow bikes on trains

Thursday, August 02, 2012
A new pilot program will allow bicyclists to ride on BART during commute hours, but it will only be on Fridays in August. BART is rolling out an experiment to see if bikes and riders can coexist on the trains.

Attention cyclists, BART is rolling out an experiment that could make your commute more convenient. The transit agency will be testing whether bikes and riders can coexist on the trains.

Some transit riders, like Vallejo resident Traci Madison, doesn't think it will work out, "Some mornings it's very crowded, where there's not enough room for the people to stand. But then when you have a lot of bikes squeezed on, there's definitely not going to be enough room for passengers to ride or stand.

Right now bikes are banned from BART during the morning and afternoon commute hours. There are stations where people can park their bikes before boarding the trains, but some say they skip BART altogether because of the ban.

"I don't know why BART doesn't have a separate train just for bikes. But you know what's the point of having a great transit system like this when people that want to bike can't because of the commuting hour block," said El Cerrito resident Jonah Gabriel.

BART officials realize the bike ban makes the commute tough for bicyclists, so they're going to try an experiment -- they'll allow bikes on the trains on Fridays during August at any hour of the day -- then they'll see what people think.

Although, it's already pretty clear that some riders do not like bikes on the train, "It gets a little frustrating, gets a little tight. Sometimes people just leave them sittin there and go stand somewhere else and they're falling over and hitting people, it's kind of annoying," BART rider Michael Summers said.

Allie Sullivan, however, doesn't take it personally. She says she realizes that bikes are bulky and dirty and the trains are crowded, but she's holding out hope for a solution, "I understand the problems of that so if there was something that could be designed to accommodate bikes better and commuters better together that would be spectacular."

The East Bay Bicycle Coalition supports the program. They will be handing out postcards at BART stations that explain the pilot program and how to give feedback.

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Tags:
bikes, BART, transportation, east bay news, amy hollyfield
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