Over the last few months BART has installed 336 new electronic bike lockers at 19 stations. This is the second deployment of lockers around the BART system.
The first shared-use electronic lockers started appearing at BART stations in 2008. BART now has more than 500 electronic lockers available to provide secure, weather-protected parking for bicyclists. (For the complete station list, go to www.bart.gov/guide/bikes
Unlike older generations of keyed lockers, which had one user per locker, the electronic lockers allow multiple users. “Given real estate constraints at BART stations, there just isn’t room for everyone who wants a locker to have their own key-operated locker,” said Steve Beroldo of BART’s Access Department, who also serves as the staff liaison to the BART Bicycle Task Force, which had a meeting on Feb. 6, 2012. Find out more and download the agenda Beroldo added that, “Frankly, most of the keyed lockers sit empty on any given day because not all key-holding cyclists use them daily.”
HOW E-LOCKERS WORK
To use the electronic lockers a cyclist needs a BikeLink Card. They can be purchased online for $20 at www.bikelink.org, retail locations are also listed there. The card works like a debit card. The cyclist inserts the card at an available locker, estimates how long their bike will be stored there, backs their bike in and closes the door. When the cyclist returns, they again insert their card, a rental fee is deducted from the card (currenlty lockers are rented at the rate of 3 cents per hour), the door opens and the cyclist retrieves their bike . . . and they’re on their way.
MORE LOCKERS ON THE WAY
BART staff is currently finalizing plans for the purchase of even more electronic lockers in 2012. “We’re planning for the installation of between 200-300 additional lockers in 2012,” Beroldo said. “Stations likely to receive new lockers include: El Cerrito Plaza, Lake Merritt, North Berkeley, Pleasant Hill, Rockridge, South Hayward and Union City.” Walnut Creek is a popular biking stations and it will receive over 60 new lockers shortly after BART’s Earthquake Safety program completes its work there—likely early 2013. “We’ll also monitor usage rates at stations and add more lockers if demand warrants, funding is available and real estate exits,” he said.
FUNDING FOR LOCKER PURCHASE
Funding for the lockers has been provided by several grant sources:
Alameda County Transportation Commission—Transportation Fund for Clean Air
FTA Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality
City of Fremont Transportation Development Act, Article 3
MTC’s Safe Route to Transit Program
Contra Costa County, Measure J Sales Tax
Caltrans—State Transportation Improvement Program
OTHER BIKE PARKING OPTIONS AT BART
In addition to the electronic and keyed lockers, BART offers hundreds of bicycle racks where cyclists can lock their bikes for free. Two stations, Downtown Berkeley and Fruitvale, also offer free attended Bike Stations. At Embarcadero, Ashby and Downtown Berkeley BART operates self-serve Bike Stations that are accessed with the same BikeLink Card used for electronic lockers (more information about BART’s Bike Stations at: http://bartbikestation.com
Of course, cyclists can bring their bicycles on most trains and folding bikes are allowed on all trains. The QuickPlanner at bart.gov and the printed schedules identify which trains allow bikes. Generally non-folding bikes are not permitted during the busy rush hours.