It takes a brave (or stupid) soul to lock a bike at 16th Street/Mission BART station. Although waves of metal bike racks line the interior of the station, they often resemble bike graveyards, with frames stripped of wheels, headsets, and seats. BART authorities have finally caught on to the issue, and in an effort to boost ridership, have thrown some much-needed money at the problem.
Ten new BikeKeep racks at 16th Street/Mission station have been installed as part of a new pilot program. The free racks have built-in metal locks that secure the frame and one wheel. Cyclists can access the racks with a Clipper card, and if someone tries to steal the bike, an alarm goes off.
“The locking arm is like a U-lock on steroids,” states a BART video that describes how the racks work.
BART is the first transit agency in the country to experiment with the new racks. If the pilot program is successful, more will be installed at other stations throughout the network.
“We want to encourage people to ride bikes to BART, but we also want to encourage them to leave them at the station whenever we can,” says Steve Beroldo, BART’s Bike Program Manager.
The new racks are just one part of a plan to double the rate at which riders access the BART system by bicycle. More metal channels for wheeling bikes up and down stairs, enclosed bike parking lockers, and self-service bike repair stations are also in the works.