By Melissa Jordan
By MELISSA JORDAN
BART Senior Web Producer
BART is working hard to focus on rider needs, investing in priorities such as cleaner stations and new trains. With record ridership, no one sees rider needs closer than the frontline workers who deal most directly with riders every day. For this feature -- “How BART Works: A Day in the Life of a Station Agent” -- we spent time with a station agent to answer some of the most frequently asked questions we get at BART, while offering a glimpse at some of the issues we are faced with every day as a transit system. We want to show you up-close some of the ways these workers are helping to implement BART’s priorities and give you a few tips on how to make your ride safer and easier.
“Hi, how may I help you?” is a phrase station agent Perrissa Young-Flagg uses dozens of times each hour of her night shift at Embarcadero Station. “I’m just trying to buy a BART ticket,” a man says, frustrated with a ticket vending machine that wasn’t working. Young-Flagg showed him to a machine and helped him through the process of buying a ticket.
Ticket problems are probably the single most frequent issue she deals with in helping customers, and there are many factors involved. The BART system is more than 40 years old, and many of its parts are showing their age, something BART is working to address with increased focus on efforts to maintain a state of good repair.
RIDER TIP: AVOID UNAUTHORIZED TICKET-SELLERS
One thing that jams ticket machines is altered tickets, the work of scammers who try to con victims into buying fake tickets with lines like, “I’m leaving town and I need to get rid of this $20 ticket; I’ll let you have it for $5.” Sometimes the scammers try their cons right in front of the machines as customers are trying to buy legitimate tickets – prompting agents to call in BART Police and make warning announcements over their public address systems.
“Attention BART customers; always purchase your tickets from the machines. Do not purchase tickets from unauthorized ticket-sellers,” Young-Flagg announces. If the deal sounds too good to be true – it probably is.
“This is an altered ticket; it jams up our machines. Nine times out of 10 if a machine is out of service it’s because we have these in here,” Young-Flagg says, fishing a ticket out of a gummed-up machine.
Besides ticket issues, she helps customers needing to find elevators, gives directions, explains the difference between BART and Muni, tells kids not to skateboard in the station, and – a very important duty for customer needs – makes regular checks of elevators to ensure they are free of waste and debris.
"The elevators are really important, especially to people with disabilities or people with young children in strollers, they really need to use elevators, and I do my best to make sure they stay as clean as possible,” she says. “We check the elevators every two hours … that’s for safety and to be courteous to our customers. If there is waste or debris, we call our system service workers and they try to come and clean it right away.”
RIDER TIP: STATION AGENTS CAN'T GIVE REFUNDS ON THE SPOT
Some things you might not know about station agents are -- the agent cannot give you a refund on the spot or fix a demagnetized ticket. They can help you fill out paperwork for a refund, or you can find more info to do it yourself on http://www.bart.gov.
You might also not realize that when the agent is away from their booth, it may be for an elevator cleanliness check; to put up a gate for safety if an escalator must be taken out of service; or to handle an emergency situation.
“We got a call that there’s an unattended backpack in the middle of the station…. Are the BART Police by your booth? There’s an unattended backpack on the platform.”
In that case, it was just a bag of gym clothes left behind, but every suspicious situation must be checked out. Riders can help, with the common advice, “If you see something, say something.” Police checked it out and in this case it was a false alarm.
RIDER TIP: IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING
For agents who close stations, at the end of the night there are particular tasks to be done, like emptying faregates of paper tickets so they won’t be stolen and reused by scammers. “We have to empty the gates so the capture bin doesn’t overflow. This is the brain of the machine down there.” And there is the unfortunate but necessary task, not unique to BART but common across all transit systems in large cities, of moving along people who may be sleeping in a station for warmth or lack of another place to go.
Young-Flagg handles the task with firmness, yet respect for the dignity of the individuals. “Gentlemen, it’s time to get up, time to get up… come on, sir, let’s get up. All the exits are open. Do you need BART Police tonight? You’ve got to get up, it’s time to go.” “Thank you.”
When the last train of the night leaves, there are more checks, then the gates come down. Another day is over for one station agent.
RIDER TIP: HOW YOU CAN SUBMIT COMPLIMENTS OR CONCERNS
Young-Flagg and hundreds of other BART workers on the front lines are there to serve you, the riders. If you have questions about how things work or want to pass on a complaint or a compliment -- there is a comment form on bart.gov where you can share your feedback. If you have a favorite "regular" train operator, station agent or other employee whom you think would make an interesting day-in-the-life profile for "How BART Works," you can email your suggestion to email@example.com
Read about how BART Police are using data analysis, community policing and a new geographic zone system to help enhance public safety. Another crime-fighting technology step, a smartphone app for riders, will be discussed at the BART Board meeting Thursday, Feb. 27, which is open to all.
We recognize temperatures can be uncomfortable sometimes for riders on crowded trains, so we are in the process of replacing the heating, ventilation and air condition (HVAC) systems on the most problematic cars.
There are 230 “second generation” cars and these have far more HVAC problems than the 439 earlier generation cars that were modernized in the late ‘90s. In general, the problems are a result of the HVAC systems on these second generation cars not being designed to handle the extra demands of our increased ridership.
To address the problems, BART is replacing the HVAC units on all the second generation cars. The replacement project launched last year, HVAC units have been replaced on 40 cars and they continue at a pace of 12 cars per month. Our goal is to complete the replacements next year.
Looking ahead to the arrival of the Fleet of the Future beginning in 2017, the new rail cars will be even more efficient in keeping customers comfortable. They are designed for a capacity of 178 riders, feature microprocessor thermostats that much more responsive than the current sensors and will even be able to withstand outside temperatures of 110 degrees.
In the meantime, here are some tips that may help riders in stuffy conditions:
- If you are on a BART car that seems to have no air conditioning at all, you can use the intercoms on either end of the train to let the train operator know (the car number is located at either end of the car above the door) so the problem can be reported for maintenance attention. Climate control in each car is independent, and automated, so the temperature can't be adjusted by an individual train operator, but he or she can report the problem.
- Try moving to another car. Because the climate control is separate in each car, you may find a more comfortable spot just one car over.
- Follow safety rules such as not holding doors open, which can damage the equipment and cause delays.
- Practice courtesy such as moving to the center of the car so others can board, and clearing specially designated seats for seniors and people with disabilities.
- If you have an important connection to make -- such as an airline flight -- consider taking a train earlier than you normally would to build in extra time in case of weather-related delays
By Luna Salaver
Recently, I attended a large gathering of professionals at a major hotel in San Francisco where I noticed each place setting included a 10 ounce glass of water, many left untouched. Gazing over the sea of water glasses made me wonder if the hotel industry hadn’t heard that just days before, Governor Brown declared the State of California in a “drought emergency.”
If you’re wondering what’s the connection between the drought and BART--BART trains run on electricity and, for the most part Northern Californians get power generated by hydroelectricity, not by coal or nuclear energy. Knowing that, some may wonder if rising water fees may result in higher BART fares.
Rest assured that the lack of water will not generate higher fares for our riders—BART will not be expected to pay more if water costs increase. This is because BART’s hydroelectric supplies are provided at a fixed price under long-term contracts. While the drought may reduce the supply of hydroelectric power, our contracts require the suppliers to absorb any increase in price to reduced supply. In addition, most of BART’s hydroelectric supply comes from the Pacific Northwest and while rain levels are lower than normal, that area does not have the severe drought conditions we have here in California. This explains why even though we face a local water shortage neither BART’s costs to operate or your fares will increase due to the current drought.
BART is evaluating what other measures we need to put in place in our day-to-day business in order to cut back on water usage where we can.. Water is a precious resource and we know every organization, every individual must do one’s part to make sure we aren’t wasteful in our daily activities.
BART is in the process of developing a system-wide plan to reduce water waste. Efforts will include planting native, drought-resistive landscaping, replacing leaking faucets where needed and launching an employee water conservation awareness program.
For ways you can help conserve water visit http://wateruseitwisely.com/100-ways-to-conserve/
You're invited to a Community Open House Monday, February 3, 2014
Download the open house flyer (.pdf)
The Downtown Berkeley BART Plaza and Transit Area Improvement Project will serve a signature place-making function for the Downtown Area and improve access for an influx of new residents and employees.
Currently serving over 30,000 daily transit riders including BART, AC Transit, and UC Berkeley Bear Transit Shuttle, the project will improve traffic safety and enhance the transit rider experience.
Additionally, the project will redevelop and reallocate the public space surrounding the station; improve pedestrian safety; support commerce, arts and entertainment; replace sidewalk materials and landscaping; and incorporate other design amenities.
Finally, the project will dovetail with the Shattuck Couplet Reconfiguration Project, and serve as an invaluable capital improvement to the City of Berkeley, its residents and merchants, and transit riders of the East Bay.
BART SFO -- still the easiest way to go
– BART will extend service until 3 am on New Year’s Eve and deploy extra staff and trains to help get people home from their festivities. BART will run a normal weekday evening service schedule which will extend until 3 am. Trains will run every 20 minutes after midnight with extra trains standing by in downtown San Francisco after the fireworks show.
To further ease platform crowding at our busiest stations, Embarcadero, Montgomery, and West Oakland, beginning at 8 pm, BART will utilize a “skip-stop” train pattern into and out of San Francisco with one important change from past years:
Going into San Francisco:
· Trains from the Pittsburg/Bay Point and Richmond lines heading into San Francisco will not stop at Embarcadero Station. The San Francisco stop closest to the fireworks show for customers on the Pittsburg/Bay Point and Richmond lines will be Montgomery Street Station.
· Trains from the Dublin/Pleasanton and Fremont lines will not stop at Montgomery Street Station but will stop at Embarcadero Station.
· Trains from Millbrae and Daly City will make all stops in San Francisco.
After the fireworks end:
· Passengers bound for Pittsburg/Bay Point and Richmond must use Montgomery Street Station. Trains on these lines will not stop at Embarcadero Station on their way out of San Francisco.
· Passengers on the Dublin/ Pleasanton and Fremont lines must use Embarcadero Station, as trains heading to Dublin/Pleasanton and Fremont will not stop at Montgomery Street Station. NEW THIS YEAR: Dublin/Pleasanton and Fremont trains will not stop at West Oakland and will make their first East Bay stop at Lake Merritt.
· Millbrae and Daly City-bound trains will skip Embarcadero then make all stops. BART will direct passengers on those lines to use Montgomery Street Station which will be less crowded.
Passengers can check “Real Time Departures” on their mobile phone (http://m.bart.gov) to see when the next train is leaving or text "BART go" to 878787.
Purchase Round-trip Tickets or Load Cash Value on Clipper Card
To avoid lines at ticket machines, BART is encouraging customers to purchase round-trip tickets in advance. Additionally, customers who use the Clipper Card should pre-load it with cash so it can be used on any participating transit system that accepts Clipper (www.clippercard.org).
Leave Bikes and Pets at Home
To ensure everyone travelling on BART can do so safely and comfortably, BART will rigorously enforce its rules regarding bikes and pets. Trains will be full on New Year’s Eve, which is why BART encourages customers to leave bikes and pets at home. Non-folding bikes are never allowed on a crowded car or in the first car of any train regardless of how empty it may be. BART riders are also reminded that there is no eating or drinking allowed on trains.
BART will have about a hundred yellow vested employees standing by at station entrances and platforms to help direct passengers to the appropriate stations. Extra station agents will be on hand at downtown stations to assist customers. BART Police, train technicians, ticket/add fare machine technicians, emergency medical technicians, system service workers, and elevator/escalator repair technicians will be strategically placed to help respond to problems.
Sunday Service on New Year's Day
On New Year’s Day, Wednesday, January 1, 2014, BART will operate on a Holiday/Sunday timetable with service beginning at 8 am.
Get more details and view chart here:
The post-summer crunch -- when vacations are over and schools are back in session -- is underway, on BART trains already experiencing record ridership. BART's five-month extended commute period bike pilot is in its third month, the first with autumn-level ridership, and officials are taking the opportunity for more education on successful coexistence of cyclists and non-cyclists.
"For many people, this pilot is really helping their day, because they can ride the trains when they couldn't before," said Steve Beroldo, BART's bike program manager. "We have heard concerns from others, however, about some trains being just too crowded to accommodate bikes, so we are working to get the word out about ways to minimize those kinds of problems."
On a recent Monday morning, Beroldo and the East Bay Bicycle Coalition's Anna Szendrenyi brought their bikes to the Rockridge Station platform in Oakland to spot-check which trains were too crowded -- and which not -- for taking bikes aboard.
While previously a bike blackout was in place during peak commute periods, during the extended pilot running through Dec. 1, bikes are allowed at all times, with some restrictions and subject to the other bike rules. One of the existing rules still in place is that bikes are not allowed on trains where they cannot comfortably fit -- a measure, Beroldo explains, that is "a little subjective."
"The big challenge is that some cars are going to be too crowded for bikes to get on them, and we have to ask bicyclists not to board those cars,” Beroldo said. “They have to move toward the back of the train, they may have to wait for another train.”
He walked his bike up to the boarding square, waiting behind the yellow safety strip, as a San Francisco-bound train pulled in, people visible through the window standing closely pressed near the doors. "That one doesn't look good," he said, rolling the bike back so that a lone standee could squeeze on board.
"One rule of thumb might be, if you don't have ask multiple people to move, or if you are not going to be at risk of running into someone, then it's probably OK to bring your bike on board," he suggested. "Cyclists need to be very conscious of not blocking seats and not blocking the doors. Also, they should remember that chains can be oily, tires can have road grit on them, and they don't want to bump into people."
BART is taking other steps to ease the process. Additional secure bike parking is being added at some stations; decals are in place at some stations with narrow platforms to show bikes where to wait; and the BART website has a new crowding feature on its QuickPlanner trip planning tool that can help assess which trains are more likely to have space for bikes.
“You can look ahead of time at different train options that work for you and pick the one that might be less crowded,” Beroldo said. “It’s not real time – it’s built on historical data – but our ridership is pretty consistent from day-to-day and we update it on a quarterly basis. It will give a clue as to which trains are the most crowded.”
Szendrenyi said the Bike Coalition is also spreading the word about bike etiquette to its members and the general public.
"We are reaching out to as many people as possible, both cyclists and non-cyclists, because we really want to make this work," Szendrenyi said.
“Getting on the train seamlessly and not disrupting the folks already on the train – making their ride and my ride equally as good – is really important,” she said. “People are trying to be more accommodating and we’re trying to be more attentive to when we board and make sure we don’t bump into people.”
On a later train with many open seats, Szendrenyi and Beroldo went on board to demonstrate another technique that can help -- "stacking," or leaning bikes against one another, to fit more of them into the bike space against the side of the train by the door. The next generation of BART trains will have bike racks for even better accommodations; read more about the Fleet of the Future at www.bart.gov/cars. Szendrenyi suggested that non-cyclists could help by keeping the areas in front of the bike spaces clear, if possible, so that more bikes could fit there stacked, opening up space for standees elsewhere throughout the train.
It’s important to keep a dialogue going, Beroldo said.
“Sometimes there will be someone standing in the space where it’s best to put your bike, and you have to start a little conversation,” he said. “Say, ‘Excuse me, I’d like to get my bike out of the way, can I lean it up against the wall behind you? ' "
"Ultimately, the decision on what happens after the pilot is going to be up to the Board of Directors," Beroldo said. "It is a Board decision and they are going to listen to the riders."
You can read more about the bike pilot and give feedback at www.bart.gov/bikes.
BART will be open while the Bay Bridge is closed over Labor Day Weekend. BART will run trains on a 24 hour basis beginning the night of Wednesday, August 28th until the night of Monday, September 2nd. BART resumes normal weekday service at about 4 am on Tuesday, September 3rd.
The overnight trains will operate hourly on a two route modified “X” service serving 14 stations, with trains between Concord and San Francisco International Airport forming one line of the X and trains between El Cerrito del Norte and Dublin/Pleasanton forming the other line. All trains will meet at MacArthur Station, where passengers may transfer to reach any of the 14 stations that will be open around the clock. See above for a map of the stations that will be open and the overnight train schedule. Customers using the overnight service should select a station that will be open when planning their trip and for parking.
Trains will not run overnight Monday into Tuesday so BART may carry out required maintenance work and inspections.
During regular service hours, BART will increase its passenger capacity by running longer trains all day and will adjust train service to match needs for weekend events, including A’s home games, Cal Bears football and America’s Cup finals.
Ridership is expected to increase significantly compared to other holiday weekends due to the bridge closure. For example, during the 2009 Labor Day weekend five day Bay Bridge closure, BART carried an extra 230,000 riders compared to the same five day period in 2008, a 30% increase.
During Labor Day Monday, BART will operate on a Saturday schedule. BART parking is available during the Bay Bridge closure however all BART parking regulations will be enforced. The daily parking fee will apply Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of the bridge closure and drivers who don’t have monthly or long term permits are reminded to park in the “fee” parking areas, not the “reserved” or “permit” areas. Parking will be free on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. For more information about parking at BART stations, visit www.bart.gov/parking
BART Service Highlights
- 24 hour service between 14 stations
- Overnight trains will run on an hourly basis
- All trains will transfer at MacArthur Station
- No overnight service Tuesday morning
- Saturday schedule on Labor Day Monday
More Bay Bridge info can be obtained at www.baybridgeinfo.org
BART will offer limited round-the-clock service from the night of Wednesday, August 28th, through the morning of Monday, September 2nd. BART will NOT operate overnight Monday night into Tuesday morning to enable BART to conduct mandated inspections. Information about the frequency of train service and which stations will be open 24 hours is being finalized and will be announced in the coming days.
More Bay Bridge info can be obtained at www.baybridgeinfo.org
Workers prepare a mockup of a train car interior for public viewing July 23-26 at MacArthur Station
A milestone in public outreach for BART's Fleet of the Future project comes July 23-26, when a 2/3-scale mockup of a train car interior will be set up for public viewing at MacArthur Station in Oakland.
You can kick the tires (metaphorically; after all, this is a wooden model of the interior of the car, and BART trains don't have tires) between 2 pm and 7 pm from Tuesday - Friday on the concourse level of the station, in front of the multicolor peacock-feather-looking mural. BART has built the plywood model to give the public a sense of the proportions of the new cars, possible configurations of seats, placement of bike racks and handholds, so visitors can share impressions about these and other new features. Those going through the model will fill out a survey to give their feedback. Nearly 10,000 people have shared feedback so far on the project by attending other events, taking online surveys or emailing comments.
If you're already traveling on BART through MacArthur Station you can view the model and get back on a train without going through faregates. If you are not riding BART but want to tour the model, there will be a stamp system allowing you inside the paid area for the purposes of visiting the mockup only. Regular parking rules apply. Depending on what time you attend and how many people are visiting, you may walk through the model on a self-paced tour; or, if enough visitors are present, BART staff may conduct "pack-the-train" tours to give you a sense of what the space would be like on a crowded train. The mockup is fully accessible for people with disabilities. If you need language assistance services, please call 1-510-464-6752 at least 72 hours prior to the date you plan to attend.
While it's not the same as walking through the mockup, if you can't make it on one of the tour dates, you can check out some preliminary designs and submit a feedback form at www.bart.gov/cars. There, you can also find out about many new features planned for the Fleet of the Future, such as seats that are easier to keep clean, new door technology that better seals out noise and modern passenger information systems.
GET A SENSE OF THE SPACE
Keep in mind that the mockup is a rough model without final features in place: For example, the seats in the mockup will not be made of actual final seating materials, but will be wooden models of the same height and width of the actual seats. There are static posters of digital displays located in the interior train model where the real displays will go; however, visitors will be able to watch a sample of what the real digital displays could look like at a viewing station after exiting the train model.
MORE EVENTS TO COME
More opportunities to experience the new cars will happen as the timeline moves along. Currently, realistic prototypes of the final seat designs and bike rack designs are expected to be available for viewing in fall 2013 at events to be scheduled. Also, a final "hard mockup" -- much closer to what an actual train car will look like, with the full metal exterior rather than a wooden skeleton -- is expected for viewing in early 2014.
To be notified of future events and other project news, sign up to receive information at www.bart.gov/cars.
BART customers will be able to get to the world famous Bay to Breakers race in San Francisco on Sunday, May 19, 2013, because we’ll open early and run additional long trains. All BART stations will open early with service starting at approximately 5 am Sunday so racers can get to the race well before Bay to Breakers begins at 7 am. Trains running before 8 am will run at 20-minute intervals.
Embarcadero & Montgomery Street Both Convenient
Because the Bay to Breakers race attracts thousands of runners and spectators, BART encourages riders originating from Peninsula and San Francisco stations to get off at Montgomery Street Station. Riders coming from the East Bay should use the Embarcadero Station. Both stations are just a short distance from Howard and Spear Streets, the starting point of the race.
See Something, Say Something
Because safety is always BART’s top priority, we are always operating with a heightened level of awareness for any events with large crowds. BART is asking customers to help keep the system safe for everyone by reporting unattended packages or suspicious behavior by calling BART Police at (510) 464-7000.
More Tips for Runners
Runners can save themselves time and trouble by getting a Clipper card in advance of race day to pay their fare. Those who do are reminded to be sure to load enough cash on the card to pay for a round trip fare. Clipper cards are available at transit ticket offices, through ticket vending machines in SFMTA stations and at most Walgreens and other retail locations. BART Ticket Vending Machines will allow you to add cash value to your Clipper card, but do not vend the cards.
Wet or damaged BART tickets will not work in fare gates, so runners who keep a round-trip ticket in their pockets while running seven miles may be disappointed when they try to get home. BART suggests that runners who don’t have a Clipper card should buy two one-way tickets: one ticket before heading to the race and the other before catching the train home instead of buying a single round-trip ticket.
BART reminds runners that shoes and proper attire are required on BART despite the “anything goes” attitude of the famous race. A reminder that there is no eating or drinking in the stations or on the trains so BART officials ask that runners do their pre-race carbo-loading before arriving at the stations. BART will not permit bicycles on the early Bay to Breakers trains that run prior to 8 am.
Download the timetable (.pdf) for the special Bay to Breakers service.
BART partnered with some great local organizations who are working hard to make a difference here in the Bay Area during the BART Blue Sky Festival ( bart.gov/bluesky ) this year. The BART Blue Sky Festival focuses on groups having a positive environmental impact locally, and we've created this contest so that you can tell us which of our BART Blue Sky Non-Profit partners' current initiatives you like best?
Log in to Facebook and vote for your favorite! The organizations you can vote for are:
Bay Area Green Tours
City Care Share
Factory Farming Awareness Coalition
Friends of the Urban Forest
Habitat for Humanity
Save the Bay
The top three non-profits that get the most votes will win valuable exposure in front of BART's 400,000+ daily weekday riders for their organization, and YOU have a chance to win a $500 Clipper Card just for voting. You can only vote one time, so make it count.
You have until Sunday, May 12, 2013 at midnight to vote.
On Thursday, May 9, 2013, the BART Board of Directors will review passenger survey results from our most recent “Bikes on Board” pilot and compare them to our earlier test last year. Staff will provide an update on a series of initiatives aimed to improve bikes access on our trains and at our stations and offer observations and an evaluation of the pilot. Directors will then determine next steps. Download a summary of results of the latest survey (.pdf) and updates on initiatives for all the details.
“What better day to review survey results and consider next steps than on Bike to Work day,” BART Board President Tom Radulovich said. “Feedback from our riders suggests most of them are open to modifying bike rules to allow greater access. Even better, 25 percent of those surveyed said they are more likely to ride BART if we relaxed our bike policy. The bike pilot was another demonstration of how our passengers can adapt and self-regulate when crowding becomes a factor.”
The very latest pilot was a five-day test held March 18-22, 2013. Unlike the first bike pilot, which was conducted only on Fridays last August, this one provided a better picture as it included a full work week with higher average ridership (an increase of about 17,000 trips each day). Bikes were allowed on all trains at all times, but during peak commute hours (7:00 am to 9:00 am and 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm) bicyclists were not allowed to board the first three cars of any trains to provide options for those who wanted to avoid bikes altogether. Customer feedback was an important element of both bike pilots.
The pilot evaluation included observation by staff, members of the accessibility & bicycle task forces and the SF and East Bay Bike Coalitions. BART encouraged all riders to provide feedback and 2,153 people took the survey. To get a more scientific opinion from riders, BART conducted a random sample survey as well, which 1,720 riders participated in. Some key results from the random sample to be discussed at the Board meeting on May 9th include:
Most riders feel unaffected by the change
- 84% = no impact on decision to ride
- 75% = little or no effect on their trip
Some riders unhappy with bikes during commute period because they feel trains are too crowded
- 13% reported problems during pilot mainly related to crowding
- 17% felt accommodating bikes made trip worse
- However, 81% felt there was enough room or that it was a little crowded but worked OK
Fewer Riders Opposed to Bikes on Board
- August 2012 = 37% in favor of keeping current restrictions
- March 2013 = 23% in favor of keeping current restrictions
BART has been working on several initiatives to better accommodate bikes such as reconfiguring train car interiors to make more space for everyone, “bike waiting” zone decals at select stations with narrow platforms, expanding secure parking at BART stations, signage steering bikes away from escalators, a newly launched online/mobile train crowding feature as part of the QuickPlanner, and an upcoming bike etiquette poster campaign.
Directors will determine the next steps for the “Bikes on Board” pilot. Any modification to BART's Bike Rules will be made by the Board. The Board will hold its first night meeting of the year on May 23rd at 6:00 pm and a modification to the bike rules is likely to be on the agenda. The agenda will be released Friday, May 17th.
Visitors to the BART website and mobile site can now get a snapshot of estimated crowding levels on trains when they plan a trip.
The beta version of the estimated crowding feature launched Tuesday. When you use the BART QuickPlanner, your trip plan will show an icon with three heads, two heads or one head – indicating “heavy crowding expected,” “moderate crowding expected,” or “light crowding expected.”
The new feature is a response in part to record ridership levels on BART, giving riders another tool to find a train with more space, if they have flexibility to make their trip a little earlier or later.
The crowding level estimates are based on historic data; BART’s web team worked closely with BART’s scheduling department to coordinate the new feature in an effort to give riders more choices.
“Although the data is not real time, the historic data we're using is generally predictive, and customers will be able to see which trips are less crowded than others,” said Timothy Moore, BART website manager.
QuickPlanner trip plans also tell riders whether bicycles are allowed on BART at a particular time or not. The crowding level feature is also intended to provide guidance to bicyclists, because even outside commute period blackouts, bicyclists are instructed to "only board cars that can comfortably accommodate you and your bicycle,"under the BART bike rules.
“This feature will be useful to bicyclists, because on the trains marked ‘heavy crowding expected,’ it may not be possible to bring a bike on board,” said Steve Beroldo, BART’s bicycle program manager. “It will be a much better option to choose a train with the ‘light crowding expected’ icon,” he said.
BART is evaluating the results from a bike pilot held March 18-22 allowing bikes on board at all times (with some restrictions). The results of the pilot will be presented to the Board of Directors at a future meeting, with opportunity for public comment, before determining what happens next with bikes on BART.
Join us for the third annual BART Blue Sky Festival, Friday, April 19, just in time for Earth Day!
Absolutely free from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at Justin Herman Plaza in San Francisco. Get great environmental info and giveaways from dozens of eco-exhibitors, live music, carnival games with an eco-twist and more! Pick up a BART Blue Sky Passport at the festival, fill it with stamps from six festival exhibitors and redeem it for a free $6 BART ticket on the spot.*
For a full list of exhibitors and more info about BART's Blue Sky Celebration, visit www.bart.gov/bluesky.
Closest BART station: EMBARCADERO
*The first 5,000 people who turn in a completed passport will get a free $6 BART ticket right at the festival!