Allowing bikes on BART at all times would smooth the commutes of many Bay Area residents, including these three who were spotted bringing their bikes on board during the Friday BART bike pilot .
Eric, Fruitvale to SOMA
“I live in Alameda which is about 10 minutes away from the Fruitvale station. Usually I have to leave the house by 630-640 a.m. to get on the early enough train to get my bike onto Bart before “commute hours” start. That’s usually not a problem for me. The problem arises when I have to leave work at 500-530 p.m., this usually means I would not be able to bring my bike onto the Bart train until after “commute hours” would expire.
Because of the restrictions, I drive to the Bart station, park, pay the $1.00 for parking and board the train. I get off at the Civic Center Bart station and walk the 15 minutes to 12th and Howard where I work.
I realize that the Bart station at Fruitvale has bike lockers, but I do not trust that my bike would safe in their lockers. The station also has a bike shop that offers free bike parking, but the shop closes at 800 p.m. and that doesn’t work because if I want to hang out inthe city after work, I have to be aware of the time and since it takes about an hour to walk to the station, board the train and get to the other station, I would have to leave the city by 700 p.m. That doesn’t work for me.
Riding to the station, boarding the train, getting off at the other station and riding to works for me.”
Gil, Miraloma Park to Mission Bay
“The 7 mile ride from my home in Miraloma Park to Mission Bay is nearly entirely downhill, and I could make the trip in 30 minutes, take a shower at the office, and be high energy for the day. The ride home, though, was thus nearly entirely uphill (peak elevation 650 ft with two category 5 climbs), and would usually take me at least 1 hrt. Because of the challenge of the ride home (since I’m by no means an accomplished cyclist nor overwhelmingly fit), I got home exhausted and sweaty, and would have to add another shower in to boot…overall, biking home added up to an hour and a half ordeal. Plus, some of the roads on my route are in awful condition, and I was starting to see the wear on my bike and was getting regular repairs. So…I stopped biking in regularly.
Sadly, public transportation always takes me at least 1 hr door to door, regardless of whether I take BART, MUNI, and/or the Mission Bay Shuttle… sometimes as much as 1.5 hrs depending on my luck. It’s a horrible waste of time, so every once in a while I cheat, drive myself in and pay for parking.
But today, being allowed to take my bike on the BART, that changes everything. My bike ride down to the BART was still energizing. I took BART from Glen Park to the Embarcadero station and rode the well-maintained bike lanes along the Embarcadero, King and 3rd streets, which is an enjoyable (and FLAT) way to start the day. And best of all, I’m looking forward to my commute home, which will cut out the first 5.5 miles so I can be full energy before I start that same 1.5 mile, 450 ft uphill home.
If BART allows bikes on every day, I can leave home when I want, not tied to a bus schedule, and my commute is back down to a comfortable 30 minutes max each way. I’ll get a reasonable amount of exercise every day, as opposed to getting it once a week (or not at all). My days will actually be happier, because I will still get to enjoy an invigorating and fun morning ride, and I won’t be dreading my ride home. In short, if BART allows bikes every day, I’ll probably ride BART every day.”
Kazoo, Oakland (MacArthur Station) to San Francisco (Montgomery Station)
“I usually have to rise at 6 am to beat the bike restrictions, even though I don’t need to be my job until 10 am. It was so nice to arrive on time to work today, instead of three hours early!”
See more photos of commuters taking advantage of BART’s pilot to allow bikes on board at all times on our Flickr page.
Tell BART what you think of the pilot program.