Why does BART not allow bikes in the first car?
October 30, 2012 7:25 PM   Subscribe

Why does BART not allow bikes in the first car?

This rule mystifies me. As far as I can tell it's just there to hold up trains when someone with a bike gets in the first car and the conductor has to hold up the train for a few seconds and yell "no bikes in the first car" over the intercom. Presumably there is some reason for it, but what?
posted by madcaptenor to Travel & Transportation around San Francisco, CA (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
My best guesses:

Provides a bike-free space for elderly or handicapped people that need extra space.


The first car is usually the most crowded, as people gather at the far end of the platform, then all move down to board the first car when the train stops short of where they're standing. This is especially true for the 3 and 5 car trains.
posted by gnutron at 7:35 PM on October 30, 2012

From the Bikes on BART FAQ:

9. Why aren’t bikes allowed in the first car of a train?
In the event of an emergency the train operator needs to have a quick, unimpeded path through the first car to emergency controls and to provide assistance. This policy also provides a space for anyone who does not want to be on a car with bikes.
posted by brainmouse at 7:38 PM on October 30, 2012 [20 favorites]

My elderly parents often sit in the first car to be near the conductor. They also often sit at the front of the bus in those seats that are designated for the elderly, and pop up to make room for wheelchairs.

They like being near the conductor in case of an emergency.

As for the wheelchair thing....not all people with using wheelchairs sit in the first BART car. But they are usually given space in that same area where you would lean your bike. I think the assumption is that individuals with wheelchairs ought to not be fighting for the Same space as a bike. In the front car they never are, and no matter how crowded it is during rush hour, people usually make space. Harder to do with a bike.

Strollers always strike me as interesting. I have heard conductors, on muni I think, ask guardians to take their child out of the stroller and close it up because they block traffic.
posted by anitanita at 8:13 PM on October 30, 2012

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