Standing room only on BART. Photo credit: Michael Patrick
In response to record levels of ridership, BART has unveiled a new feature to its online trip planning – information on the estimated levels of crowding on a train. Now when you use the BART QuickPlanner (also accessible in mobile form) it will show an icon with three heads, two heads or one head indicating “heavy crowding expected,” “moderate crowding expected,” or “light crowding expected,” respectively.
Note the icon with three heads indicating a crowded train. Image via: BART
The crowding level feature is also intended to provide guidance to bicyclists since even outside commute period blackouts bicyclists are instructed to only board cars that “can comfortably accommodate you and your bicycle,” as outlined in BART’s bike rules.
It should be noted that the crowding level estimates are not real time but based on historic data patterns so it’s still best to use your best judgement when boarding BART with a bike. However, BART’s web team worked closely with BART’s scheduling department to coordinate the new feature to make sure the feature is as accurate as possible. According to Timothy Moore, BART’s website manager,
“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.”