Eyes on the Street: BART Lets Station Agents Park Inside MacArthur Station

Photo: ##https://twitter.com/checkereddan/status/405381189965328385/photo/1/large##Daniel Diiulio/Twitter##

Think the inside of a transit station is a completely inappropriate place to store automobiles? BART begs to differ.

BART is officially allowing its station agents to store their personal cars inside MacArthur Station in Oakland. You can’t make this stuff up.

Daniel Diiullio tweeted two photos of cars parked right next to the agent booth and inside the bike parking area yesterday morning. When asked about these oddly-placed autos, BART spokesperson Luna Salaver said the agency is totally fine with it because some employee parking spaces have been removed by an adjacent housing construction project:

For this reason Station Agent parking is and will be a real problem there because of the ongoing work. As long as their designated parking spaces are obstructed and cannot be used, Station Agents will be allowed to park on the plaza (when they can safely do so). Their personal safety is the primary reason for this temporary parking situation. Because they are responsible for opening and closing the station in the wee hours of the morning, we want them to have safe access to their cars. We appreciate our customers’ understanding in this situation!

So there you have it — when reserved parking spots aren’t available, the only option is to put cars in the space for people and bikes. Problem solved.

Photo: ##https://twitter.com/checkereddan/status/405386558791884800/photo/1/large##Daniel Diiulio/Twitter##
  • mikesonn

    Unreal. But not surprising from a transit agency that loves huge parking structures next to their stations.

  • timsmith

    What the fuck.

  • coolbabybookworm

    The difference between the SF stations and the suburban stations is incredible. Looking at them, it’s hard to believe the Dublin station is even in the same system as the Powell one.

  • jd_x

    Why can’t BART designate the parking spaces nearest to the building for station agents? It’s not *that* dangerous. And if it is, them I’m concerned that they expect passengers to assume that risk.

  • Probably a safety hazard

    There are vehicles parked all over the sidewalk blocking entry to the West Oakland station, too.

  • nicaja


  • velopal

    Um, why aren’t they taking BART to work? It’s right next to the “office.”

  • phoca2004

    Really, the employees should be parking the furthest from the station. The closest spaces should be reserved for people who are mobility impaired. If parking in the back of the lot is considered too unsafe for their cars, perhaps the newly minted internal advocates for better safety around stations will benefit everyone.

  • Erica_JS

    I use that station, and yeah, it *is* that dangerous in the middle of the night when the station agents are leaving with absolutely no one else around, which is not the situation for most passengers. I don’t think parking cars inside the station is a good solution, but I wouldn’t walk to the far end of that parking lot alone at midnight. It’s a legitimate concern.

  • Christopher Kidd

    If BART weren’t wildly behind schedule in completing their parking garage – to the point where BRIDGE housing broke ground on their project even though they were supposed to wait until the garage was complete – finding appropriate parking wouldn’t be an issue.

  • Josh Handel

    If BART officials weren’t openly antagonistic and disdainful of the very service they offer to others (public transit), they’d say that employees taking an AC Transit all-nighter bus to and fro in the interim would be acceptable.

  • Prinzrob

    This is definitely ridiculous, but that whole plaza is just going to get ripped up within the next couple of months anyway in order to update it and install a secure bike parking room. The BART employees will definitely have to find a new place to park then.

    I take more issue with the temporary drop-off, bus and taxi areas that have been created along the already narrow bike lane past the station on MacArthur. Nobody seems able to pull in next to the curb so the bike lane is often blocked by cars, or by taxi doors being swung open unexpectedly. The poor lighting in that highway underpass area doesn’t help matters much, either.

    My take is that the curbside parking should be removed along this entire block so that the sidewalks can be widened to accommodate the significant pedestrian traffic. Anyone who wants to park their car can do it in the BART lot.

  • Andy Chow

    You should know that BART workers are unionized and know how far they are willing to go to protect their interests. If they think there are safety issues at BART, would they even consider parking further away or taking an overnight bus be an acceptable option?

  • andrelot

    I think the concerns are legitimate. Station agents arrive and leave during the night, when nobody else is around, and this station is located on a dangerous area. Maybe some other arrangements might be found, but I think the whole issue is not absurd as it might appear to be.

  • Emmily_Litella

    The sight of that car in front of turnstiles is truly an obscenity. And isn’t it unsafe/illegal to store gasoline in any manner in a public area of a transit facility?

  • Jame

    The BART has about 25% of the spots it used to have with the current construction. Although this station does have a pretty high transit/ped/bike mod share, auto access is significant as well and the other nearby stations don’t have parking capacity for the overload. 40th could be reconfigured to offer better ped/bike access, after the garage is completed. At the moment, I. Think this spots are pretty useful.

  • Jeffrey Baker

    BART spokesperson Luna Salaver is incorrect, as station agents have been parking like this since well before this parking lot was closed. I took a picture of this same car parked in the same place on October 10, 2012. I just posted my photos at https://plus.google.com/u/0/108662840821852714064/posts/R18MZm4Q5Uy

  • davistrain

    Obscenity? Obscenity would be a BART employee getting mugged or shot on the way to a distant parking spot. I suppose an alternative would be to have BART police pick up the attendants and take them to a secure parking area.

  • alex

    That is the trend of the SF Bay Area. Cars driving up on the sidewalk and parking. So BART is saying, cars that are leaking oil, coolant and gas is not a danger to everyone who walks or rides on it. Their concern is shortsided. Why not just take a spot on the street like all cars are supposed to.

  • davistrain

    Presumably BART employees are so well paid that they have cars that are in good shape and don’t leak fluids.

  • david vartanoff

    run BART 24/7, then station agents can commute to work like all the other riders. problem solved.

  • tony

    Why can’t BART PD escort them to their cars?

  • Parking on a sidewalk is illegal under California state law.https://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/d11/vc22500.htm. So BART policy or not, this is total horseradish. If you see this happening, call the local state troopers at 1-800-835-5247 and report it. Streetsblog should get Luna Salaver to explain why BART thinks it is exempt from state law.

  • Jake Wegmann

    That would create many, many other problems. Tracks need to be maintained all the time. There’s a reason that New York’s subway system is one of the few in the world that has 24-hour service AND that runs service on 4 tracks on the busiest parts of the network.

  • Jake Wegmann

    Because they are arriving to open up the stations before the first trains start running, and leaving after they’ve closed the stations down, and after the last train has stopped running.

    And I don’t know if you’re familiar with the area, but getting mugged or worse in that vicinity is, unfortunately, much more than an abstract possibility.

  • Guest

    Or designate parking spaces far, far away for the agents.

  • Jeffrey Baker

    All these years later and the plaza project still hasn’t begun, and BART station agents are still parking on the plaza.


  • Prinzrob

    Believe it or not, I’ve been nagging BART staff and board members about it this whole time. Here is the latest update I received as of March 20:

    “The project is now fully funded and the funding commitment has been issued to the developer. A key Caltrans permit should be issued this week. So the developer is ready to give the contractor the “go”. Some scope negotiations will follow and the contractor should then mobilize.”


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