BART is turning 40 and offering San Francisco residents a birthday present of their own.
For every Friday in August, the transit agency will allow passengers with bikes to board at every station, onto every train, at any time.
"It's all day, all trains," Steve Beroldo, BART's bicycle program manager, told the San Francisco Chronicle.
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Normally bikes ares banned from BART during commute hours (7:00-9:00am, 4:30-7:00pm) on weekdays on every line except the Richmond-Fremont.
Many of these cars are too crowded to accomodate bikes. But commuters have complained that it discourages them from biking to work and from taking BART.
"I often have multiple stops and I need my bike on the other end,” Adina Levin of the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition told KQED. “Bringing your bike on board gives you 16 times as much access as walking, you can get 16 times as far, so it’s a really powerful tool.”
BART plans to survey riders' experience with the new system using both its website and postcards handed out at stations. It will also collect reactions from station agents, train operators and other employees and will analyze any possible delays or increased amount of time trains may linger in stations.
During experiment, bikes will still be banned from the first car and from escalators, and bicyclists are urged not to try to wedge themselves into already packed cars.
"The message is to be respectful and use common sense," said Leah Shahum, executive director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. "If there's not enough room, wait for the next train."
Scroll through the slideshow below to see people behaving badly on BART, and then let us know how ending the ban will affect your commute in the comments:
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