BART has finally dropped its outdated policy of banning bicycles aboard trains during rush hours. After an uneventful four-month trial, the BART Board of Directors voted unanimously this morning to lift the bans permanently.
The East Bay Bicycle Coalition tweeted that Robert Raburn, its former executive director and a current BART board member, was “pinching himself of course.”
“By making full access for bikes on BART a permanent policy change, East Bay residents will have a new healthy and convenient commute option,” said EBBC Executive Director Renee Rivera in a statement. “This particularly benefits those who commute within the East Bay on BART lines where there is ample room for bikes, but who are restricted from bringing bikes on board by the current rules.”
The policy change was long overdue, but the BART Board was apparently convinced after three different trial periods spanning more than a year resulted in no noticeable problems, as bike-toting commuters avoided cramming on to crowded train cars. By now, 79 percent of commuters surveyed by BART approve of lifting bike blackouts, according to BART Bike Program Manager Steve Beroldo. “With each bike pilot, the level of bike acceptance grew,” he said.
SF Bicycle Coalition Executive Director Leah Shahum called the vote “a momentous occasion.”
“For years, people on both sides of the Bay have had to contort their lives simply because they needed to take a bike on BART but couldn’t during critical times,” she said.