The complete guide to BART+bikes
Are you curious about bringing your bike on BART but are unsure the best way to go about it? Or maybe you’ve mastered this process but want ideas on where to ride after combining a BART+bike trip. Got a flat? We know the best shops to get it fixed. All of this and more in our complete guide to BART+bikes.
It’s our goal to double the number of passengers who access the system by bicycle from the current 4% to 8% by 2022. To do this, BART is taking steps to improve the BART+bike experience such as adding straps to all trains to make bikes more secure, adding bike stations, and continuing to roll out high-security racks and lockers.
The thought of bringing a bike on BART can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Below are a few simple tips to have a safe and pleasant BART+bike experience for yourself and for your fellow passengers.
Getting to BART
Become familiar with where your local BART station’s elevator is located. This is the easiest way to get your bike into the station. As a second option, you can carry your bike on the stairs, but some bikes can weigh over 30 pounds, so this is only recommended if you wish to show off those toned biceps. For safety reasons, bikes are not allowed on escalators.
Getting on the train
When queuing up for the train, try to find a spot on the platform where a passenger with a bike is not already waiting. This will give you the best chance of having the Bicycle Priority Area inside the train all to yourself. Avoid getting called out by train operators! Bikes are not allowed in the first car of any train. Ride BART enough and you will inevitably experience someone trying to board the first car with a bike, the operator instructing them to move to the second car and the sound of a collective groan from the train’s passengers. Don’t be the person that causes this!
When the train arrives, board as you normally would with your fellow passengers and move directly to the Bicycle Priority Area. Trains have two dedicated areas for bikes, so no matter which door you choose for boarding, there will be a Bicycle Priority Area nearby. If it’s a very crowded train, consider waiting for the next one or prepare to be apologetic as tightly squeezed passengers give you the stink eye. Bikes are allowed on BART at any time, but common sense should prevail when it comes to crowding. If people are standing in the Bicycle Priority Area, kindly inform them that the space is reserved for bikes. Most people will see a bike coming on board and move to a different area of the train on their own. Boarding the Fleet of the Future? Look for the green bike icons on the train doors that will indicate the Bicycle Priority Area.
BART is in the process of adding stabilizing straps to all of its trains.
So, to recap, the most important tips to remember are:
1. For your safety, don't use the escalators.
2. Don’t board the first car of any train.
3. Avoid boarding a very crowded train.
And it should go without saying, walk your bike in the stations or on the platforms.
Adding a bike to your commute
For those lucky enough to live within a few miles of a BART station, a bicycle is the best way to complement your BART trip and provide a first-mile, last-mile solution. BART’s multi-modal trip planner provides interactive, real-time itineraries using BART, walking and bicycling options, in addition to other forms of transportation. To plan a trip, simply enter your home/starting address and the destination of your workplace. Select the Bike & Transit filter, and you’ll create a detailed trip itinerary.
Two types of lockers are available to store bicycles, mopeds or wheelchairs: on-demand BikeLink lockers and single user keyed lockers.
On-demand BikeLink lockers are for shared use and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. To use an electronic locker at any BART station you'll need a BikeLink Card. Additional information on how to use the lockers can be found on the BikeLink website. To find a list of stations with on-demand lockers, go here.
The electronic bicycle lockers provide on-demand bike parking. Purchase a BikeLink smart card online or at a convenient vendor location. Ride up to an available locker and insert your smart card into the card slot. Follow on-screen directions to put time on the meter. The cost, 3 to 5 cents an hour depending on occupancy levels at the station, is automatically deducted from your smart card. Park your bike inside, close the door, and your bike remains secure. When you return to retrieve your bike, just insert your smart card into the slot to open the door. Unused time and value are automatically refunded back to the card. Learn more about how to use electronic bicycle lockers or review a list of frequently asked questions on the BikeLink website.
Single User Keyed lockers are for individual use and require a rental agreement. Note that some stations have wait lists. Download the application/rental agreement (.pdf). To find a list of stations with keyed lockers, go here.
Please contact (510) 464-7133 for locker availability.
BART is testing high-security bicycle parking at 16th St/Mission and Pleasant Hill/Contra Costa Centre Stations.
Going beyond the commute
In addition to providing the first-mile, last-mile solution to your commute, a BART+bike trip can open your world up to previously unBARTable destinations. Check out the following features for ideas on your next two-wheeled adventure.
- Bike the Bay Bridge
- Biking the Bay: San Leandro Marina
- Cycle to vineyards with WOBO and BART
- Cycle to the Summit of Mt. Diablo
Get tuned up
Check out our favorite bike shops.
- Biking around the East Bay? Here are 4 shops to visit
- Ready for a spin? Check out these SF bike shops
Don’t have a bike? No problem! We have a separate guide to bike share. Find three curated rides:
Thirsty after all of this?
Need even more info? Check out Bikes on BART.