BART is working to expand bike capacity on its new trains. (Ellie Doyen/Special to the S.F. Examiner)

BART is working to expand bike capacity on its new trains. (Ellie Doyen/Special to the S.F. Examiner)

BART to double bike capacity on its new trains

Multi-purpose space can also accommodate strollers, large luggage

BART is redesigning its Fleet of the Future trains to recognize another future, where people ride more bikes.

The agency is going to add a second space for bikes on each BART car, doubling each train’s capacity for bike commuters.

“People will stop riding BART if they can’t bring their bike on board,” said Janice Li, who represents San Francisco on the BART Board of Directors.

Li led the effort to push BART staff to increase bike capacity on its new trains. But the two bike spaces per BART car aren’t just for cyclists: They’re “multipurpose” spaces which will also benefit people with large luggage or parents with strollers.

While about 3 percent of BART riders who were surveyed by the agency last year carried bikes on board, that’s a number that could rise if the agency provided more spaces for bikes, according to advocates. BART’s Bicycle Safety Task Force and the group Bike East Bay were among the groups supporting two multi-purpose spaces.

Li, who sits on the BART board, is also an advocate with the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.

When BART surveyed people who bike, most gave BART high ratings (about 76 percent) for providing a space for bikes, but said the existing racks on BART’s new train cars don’t fit all types of bicycles. Only about 36 percent of people who bike said it was easy to use the bike rack.

“I love the idea and appreciate you thinking of us, but (the) execution doesn’t work with many bikes in the real world,” one anonymous survey respondent told BART. The Board of Directors supported removing the problematic racks.

At BART’s Board of Directors meeting Thursday, BART General Manger Grace Crunican seemed to push back against the idea of adding another multi-purpose space and BART Board member Mark Foley of Contra Costa County argued that commuters would hate to see more seats removed on BART cars.

But those cyclists are coming whether there is space or not, said BART Board of Directors Vice President Rebecca Saltzman, who represents Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. Saltzman said she had seen at least one person with a bicycle awkwardly standing with it diagonally in a space meant for commuters to stand, because BART lacked options for him to safely and politely stow it.

Ultimately, BART Board of Directors President Bevan Dufty told Crunican that he and directors Robert Raburn, Liz Ames, Saltzman and Li all supported two multi-purpose spaces.

“Is the question, ‘Can I count?’” Crunican said, indicating she understood that the board had a majority in support of the bicycle community’s position

“I think we’ll go for the two spaces,” she said. “I can count, boss.”

BART has 84 of those train cars in its possession now and expects its full new fleet of 775 cars to arrive by 2023, a year-long delay first reported by the San Francisco Chronicle.

joe@sfexaminer.com

Transit

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Dr. Grant Colfax, director of the Department of Public Health, said Friday he expected San Francisco to enter the purple tier within days. (Chris Victorio/Special to S.F. Media Co)
SF still in the red but expects move into purple tier ‘some time soon’

Four more counties moved into highest COVID-19 risk category by state

The area near the Castro Muni Metro Station is expected to be affected by construction work on the Twin Peaks Tunnel, with lane closures on Market Street and some loss of parking. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Construction on Twin Peaks Tunnel to begin November 30

Area around Castro Muni Station will see greatest impacts including lane closures on Market Street

Cal Junior Quarterback Chase Garbers completed 28 of 42 passes 315 yards and three touchdowns and two interceptions in his last game against Oregon State. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
The Big Game: Stanford at Cal

What: The 123rd Big Game When: Friday, 1:30 p.m. Where: Memorial Stadium,… Continue reading

District Attorney Chesa Boudin announces charges against former SFPD Officer Christopher Samoyoa in the 2017 fatal shooting of Keita O’Neill at a press conference outside the Hall of Justice on Monday, Nov. 23, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
DA Boudin charges fired SFPD officer with manslaughter over fatal shooting

Ex-Officer Christopher Samayoa to face criminal charges in killing of Keita O’Neil

Most Read