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History of Our Work to Open Up Bike Access on BART

For decades, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition has worked to make it easier for you to bring your bike on BART. In 1996, we helped eliminate the rule that required bike riders to buy a yearly permit to bring their bikes on board. Today, we continue to work with BART to eliminate restrictions to bringing bikes on board.

The SF Bicycle Coalition continues to advocate to make it even more convenient byremoving the “bike blackout” during peak hours, improving bike access to stations and train cars, and expanding and improving secure parking at stations. Our bikes onboard advocacy has already won expanded bike access to Caltrain. The BART Bikes ONBoardcampaign is a dedicated group of riders who work together to take smart, direct action to increase bike access to BART. Get involved in the campaign!

The Basics

As of September 2012 the rules for bikes on BART are as follows:

  • Bikes are allowed on all trains except those trains shown in highlighted areas of the BART Fares and Schedules brochure. It is the rider’s responsibility to refer to BART schedules.
  • Regardless of any other rule, bikes are never allowed on crowded cars. Use your good judgment and only board cars that can comfortably accommodate you and your bicycle. Hold your bike while on the trains.
  • Bikes are allowed in any car but the first car of a train.
  • Bicyclists must use elevator or stairs, not escalators, and always walk bikes.
  • Bicyclists must yield priority seating to seniors and people with disabilities, yield to other passengers, and not block aisles or doors or soil seats.
  • In case of an evacuation, leave your bike on the train and do not let it block aisles or doors.
  • Bicyclists under 14 years old must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Gas powered vehicles are never permitted.
  • Bikes must be parked in racks and lockers. Call (510) 464-7133 for locker availability. Bikes parked against poles, fences or railings will be removed.


Alternatives for Coping with the Blackout

During bike blackout periods here are other options for getting your bike across the Bay:

› Caltrans runs a bike shuttle (van + trailer) to get people and their bicycles across the Bay Bridge during the BART blackout (at $1 a trip, it’s one of the best travel bargains in the Bay Area)

› AC Transit buses all carry bikes. The N bus runs all night to help cover the hairy 1-5am span not served by BART.

Secure Parking

BART offers secure bike parking at many stations. But bike theft is still an issue at many stations. The Bicycle Coalition has urged BART to evaluate bike parking at each stations and upgrade bike parking at stations where theft has been a problem. More information on which BART stations offer bike parking and lockers can be found at BART’s website.

BART Plans and Documents

Draft 2012 BART Bike Plan Update (June 2012) — BART would like to see their current bike mode share doubled to 8% over the next decade, and they’ve drafted an update to their bicycle access plan that defines strategies they’ll pursue to encourage and support increased use of bicycles. Top-level issues covered in the plan are: Cyclist Circulation (improve station circulation for passengers with bicycles), Plentiful Parking (create world-class bicycle parking facilities), Beyond BART Boundaries (help assure great bicycle access beyond BART’s boundaries), Bikes on BART (optimize bicycle accommodations aboard trains), and Persuasive Programs (complement bicycle-supportive policies and facilities with support programs).


A Brief History of Bikes on BART

1972 — BART opens, no bicycle access 

1975 — Bicycles allowed only during off-peak hours, in rear of last car only, and only with a permit 

1988 — Bicycles allowed during peak hours in reverse-commute directions with a permit 

1997 — Permits no longer required, bicycles allowed in any car but first 

1998 — Bicycles allowed at all times on Richmond-Fremont, and also allowed during “shoulder” (i.e. peak-adjacent) periods on all lines 

1999 — Bicyclists no longer required to use rear door of each permissible car 

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