BART brings bikes on board for five-month trial

Commuters who want to take their bikes on BART trains will soon have fewer pesky restrictions to worry about.

Bikes will be able to board trains during peak commute hours (7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.) between July 1 and Dec. 1 with the exception of the first three cars.

BART board members voted 6-3 Thursday night to temporarily lift the restrictions for bicyclists. The three dissenting members wanted the ban lifted for good without another trial period.

Safety rules will still apply such as no bikes on crowded trains and bikes cannot block aisles or doorways.

The transit agency has been testing out the idea of allowing bikes on trains for the past two years. BART lifted restrictions on five Fridays during the month of August last year during the first pilot and the second pilot lasted for a full work week in March this year.

BART handed out customer surveys during both pilots. In the last customer survey, BART found that 76 percent of riders were in favor of allowing bikes during commute times with the exception of the first three trains.

Board President Tom Radulovich said in a statement that early testing of the pilot showed that its possible to lift the bike restrictions without impacting service:

“BART has come a long way in accommodating bikes since we opened 40 years ago. Bikes play an important role in helping people move around the region and I am happy to see we are moving toward greater access.”

The transit agency will once again survey riders during this third pilot. BART board members will evaluate the pilot before it ends in October.