Why Removing the Bike Blackout Would Mean a Safer Commute for Many Women

Lifting the rush-hour bike on ban on BART is not simply just an issue of convenience, but one of safety. We asked the public to share their stories why lifting the Rush-Hour Bike Ban would be important to them.  After nearly 300 letters from people all across the bay, we noticed a common theme: many of the women who wrote in mentioned how much safer their commutes would be if BART lifted the bike ban. Here are two of the stories:

Here’s why Tiffany wants the ban lifted:

San Bruno is quite spread out and not very pedestrian friendly. Since I can’t bring my bike on BART during rush hour, I’m forced to walk from the San Bruno BART station to my class through some desolate, industrial areas. It’s especially scary at night walking alone as a woman, and it gets dark very early during wintertime.

If the rush-hour limits were lifted from BART, I’d feel much safer biking to class at night, and it’d save me so much time going to and from the station. The trains have never felt overly crowded when I BART down the Peninsula at that hour, and I’m sure we will all play our part to make sure both riders and bikers feel safe and respected on BART.”
Sidewalk robberies can and do occur in the Bay Area. Having a bike can improve the feeling of security and help a person quickly flee a dangerous situation. Here’s Mira’s story:

I live in Oakland and work in SF. For most of my 13 years in the Bay, I’ve struggled to get to work and back home safely. Because of the rush hour bike blackouts, I eventually broke down and bought a car to safely get to and from BART as a woman. This was after I was robbed walking home from BART at night after work.

I am trying to transition back to a bike and BART lifestyle and lifting the blackouts would help immensely in getting women safely to and from the stations as walking can be very dangerous at night in many parts of Oakland and some parts of San Francisco.

Throughout the week, we’ll be featuring these stories in anticipation of this week’s BART Board of Directors meeting. If you want to share your story about why lifting the bike ban on BART is important to you, email Marc Caswell at marc@sfbike.org.

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