The SF Examiner ran a piece last week about people risking the $250 fee to bring their bicycles on BART during rush hour, justifying their admitted rule-breaking by pointing out that BART rarely issues tickets.
Winford Chew, a South San Francisco resident, said he takes his bike on BART every weekday to The City.
“I’ve gotten yelled at a couple of times by the station agents,” Chew said. “But I’ve never been fined or anything. I know that bikes are banned, but BART is the most convenient way for me to travel, and until I get in trouble, I’m going to keep bringing my bike onboard.”
So what are the rules?
For one, know where to look on the schedule to see if bikes are allowed on your train.
- Regardless of any other rule, bikes are never allowed on crowded cars. Use your good judgment and only board cars that can comfortably accommodate you and your bicycle. Hold your bike while on the trains.
- Bikes are allowed in any car but the first car of a train.
- Bicyclists must use elevator or stairs, not escalators, and always walk bikes.
- Bicyclists must yield priority seating to seniors and people with disabilities, yield to other passengers, and not block aisles or doors or soil seats.
- In case of an evacuation, leave your bike on the train and do not let it block aisles or doors.
- Bicyclists under 14 years old must be accompanied by an adult.
- Gas powered vehicles are never permitted.
- Bikes must be parked in racks and lockers. Call (510) 464-7133 for locker availability. Bikes parked against poles, fences or railings will be removed.
- Commute hours are roughly 7:05 to 8:50 am and 4:25 to 6:45 pm.
- During morning commute hours, bikes are allowed in the Embarcadero Station only for trips to the East Bay (as indicated by the Fares and Schedules brochure).
- During evening commute hours, bicyclists traveling from the East Bay must exit at the Embarcadero Station (as indicated by the Fares and Schedules brochure).
- Bikes cannot enter or exit 12th and 19th Street Oakland Stations on weekdays between 6:56 – 8:50 am and 4:35 – 6:40 pm. (as indicated by the Fares and Schedules brochure).
- Folded bikes are allowed on the trains at all times. During commute hours, folding bikes must be folded before entering the paid area at the Embarcadero, Montgomery, Powell, and Civic Center San Francisco Stations, and the 12th and 19th Street Oakland Stations. At all other stations, they may be folded on the platform, but must be folded before boarding a train.
Need to get your bike to San Francisco during rush hour? Options are limited.
You could try arriving outside the regular commuter hours.
You could take the $1 bike shuttle at MacArthur. Note: it fills up quickly.
You could weigh in BART’s Seats Survey and ask that the new train cars come with bike cars.
Do you risk the fine?