Bikes on BART, Day 1: All Signs Point to a Smooth Morning Commute

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With bikes let loose on this morning’s rush hour BART commute, all signs indicate that things went as smoothly — if not better — than usual. Our most recent search on the Twittersphere turns up not a single complaint, and reps from the East Bay and San Francisco Bicycle Coalitions, as well as BART, are reporting generally positive comments.

On a KQED radio forum this morning, East Bay Bike Coalition Executive Director Renee Rivera said one bike-to-BART commuter told her he had more room on his train, since he no longer had to compete with a backup of bike commuters that normally fills the cars up immediately after the end of the blackout period.

“He actually had an easier experience this morning,” she said. “It was less crowded, and it made me realize we’re actually distributing the bikes better throughout the system by allowing them during the commute hours.”

Whether you commute with or without a bike, be sure to let BART know how your trip goes as the pilot runs through four more Fridays.

Check out more photos from this morning on the SF Bike Coalition’s Flickr page, listen to the entire KQED forum here, and check out a video below just posted by BART.

  • Anonymous

    Funny, the EBBC got a picture of the same woman with her bike and guitar at the beginning of her trip at MacArthur BART in Oakland here:

  • Looks like the Chronicle got her on the train as well. Guess she’s just photogenic.

  • The biggest, toughest tests will probably be on August 10 and 24, when the Giants play evening games at PacBell Park. If the usual game-day BART traffic increases come, there will be much less room for bikes during the evening commute crunch times….

  • jjsmack

    While I generally support the promotion of cycling, I’m not sure I’m supportive of certain bikers on BART. A guy this morning tried to get me to vacate the wall so he could store his bike where I was standing. I refused, as it was not a designated bike space and there was plenty of other places he could leave his bike. He harassed me on the ride through the bay tunnel, although he  backed off when I sternly warned him I would not hesitate to call the police if . This is what he looks like:

  • Anonymous

    I’m not condoning anybody threatening anybody, but I gotta say: why would you stand in the only place a bicyclist can put their bike and then argue about moving when asked? Unless the car was so full that you couldn’t move anywhere else (in which case the cyclist was in the wrong … but looking at the picture it doesn’t look like the train was that full), what you did seems unnecessarily stubborn. Everybody needs to show good etiquette, not just cyclists.

  • jjsmack

    Cyclists have a lot of places they can put their bike on an empty car, not to mention that a bike *never* has priority over a passenger (maybe except in the areas labeled for bikes). He has the right to ask to use the spot, but I equally have the right to say no, and it’s not stubborn, I was there first, use the other 99% of the car that’s open. Harassing me shows that he felt entitled to get me to move, and that reflects badly on cyclists. Maybe this is the entitlement that people are talking about when they complain about cyclists on the road in general.

  • mikesonn

    “Entitlement”? Pot meet kettle. There are battles to fight, but really? Plus, he was trying to get his bike out of the way, against the wall, and now he has to move his bike around and block 3 seats when he made an effort to not be in the way.

    That’s pretty weak.

  • jjsmack

    So I should have to move somewhere else on the car, against my own policy of not sitting on BART seats (which are gross, vinyl covers or not), not holding rails, and find something to lean on that’s not in the way of the door, so he has a convenient place to put his bike? It’s his choice to bring a bike on the BART, a train that was designed for people and for which bikes are a secondary priority, and he needs to deal with it. In fact, he only stayed on for one stop (to cross the bay tunnel) I found a spot that suits my needs, he fared just fine too (threats against me aside, which I have recorded)

  • mikesonn

    I’m not going to get into it with you, and I’m certainly not going to defend some guy being a jerk. But it seems like you are a bit confrontational by nature so maybe a step back would do everyone involved a favor.

  • @d2422f1b9beb8650ff31e63b23372f71:disqus you sound pretty entitled.

    And if you won’t touch the seats or rails, what’s your policy on breathing the air in those cars? That seems as likely to cause you illness as touching the interior (unless you a have a policy of constantly licking your hands after touching the poles).

  • Nothanks

    I agree with the other posters.  The two walls to the left of the door are the only places on each coach where you can store a bike out of the way.  Every other place will block passengers to some degree.  The biker was trying to do the right thing by getting his bike away from the doors, aisles and seats.
    I have no idea who started to escalate the confrontation, but unless it was physically impossible, you should have moved for the sake of the other passengers.

  • jjsmack

    Sean – Why don’t I have the right to stand (in nobody’s way) and why should I move for a bike in an empty car? It’s the one who resorts to bullying, threats and calling others names who’s entitled.
    Mike – I’m only confrontational when someone else comes first to demand that I move and I don’t believe it’s justified (not to mention the tone in which he did it). How would you feel if you were on a plane and someone demanded you move so they could put their luggage where you were?

  •  jjsmack – it was designed for people, but not really for germophobes.

  • mikesonn

    I’m saying your confrontational nature is showing here as well.

  • jjsmack

    @Mike if we in this community weren’t confrontational (you say that as if it’s a bad thing), we wouldn’t have bike facilities on city streets or get half the respect we do

  • jjsmack

    @twitter-14678929:disqus There was NO designated bike storage on that BART car, hence he had no right to expect anyone to move from it. The way he sat with his bike is the way many people ride the BART with their bikes. Are you condoning the use of threats and harassment to get what they want?

  • jjsmack

    BART’s bike policy: “Bicyclists must yield priority seating to seniors and people with disabilities, yield to other passengers, and not block aisles or doors or soil seats.” YIELD TO OTHER PASSSENGERS. Which means you don’t harass people to get out of your bike’s way. That’s the rule. Where is the confusion?

  • mikesonn

    No one is condoning threats. And there is a time and a place to be confrontational. Expecting someone to know your phobias is a bit much. The best spot to avoid being in the way is against the wall. Your conduct on this thread is evidence that you probably didn’t handle the situation very well, but since you are your only witness, none of us can say that with certainty.

  • jjsmack

    @mike, no one is expecting anyone to know my phobias. I didn’t say I had phobias. I don’t sit on seats or hold rails, and I *was* against the wall. You know how every BART car has a piece of wall by the door? Well, that’s where I was standing, and that’s where he wanted to leave his bike. My “conduct” in this thread? What conduct? What evidence do you have to say I didn’t handle the situation well? Why would I take pictures of this guy if I was the belligerent party? I have a right to say no to any request, as do you. Maybe it’s something you need to learn to say more often yourself.

  • @d2422f1b9beb8650ff31e63b23372f71:disqus honestly it just sounds like you came looking for a confrontation. Poor guy just wanted to be out of everyone’s way. 

  • The Greasybear

    Reading how confrontational and entitled jjsmack has been in this thread, I’m not willing to believe the bicyclist did anything wrong.

  • jjsmack

    @2dc6b4c4038a9e3128028f0d88f6cde2:disqus Therefore, you condone the physical threats?

  • I’m having trouble believing there was a physical threat. Being a liberal I won’t say that it didn’t exist, but I’m unwilling to back you on this one either.


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