The oppressive era during which BART riders with bicycles were forced to limit their train rides to non-commute hours is finally over. The BART Board of Directors unanimously gave you permission to bring your bicycle on BART whenever you want, starting today.
The landmark decision by the transit agency's elected officials reversed a longstanding ban on bicycles during rush hour times. It also comes after several lengthy trial periods that, more or less, made it OK months ago. Which is great! More bike access is a good thing. One of my favorite modes of transportation is by bicycle.
That said, there are a few things to keep in mind when bringing your bike aboard BART, especially during those already tense rush hours:
Your Bike Is A Large Cumbersome Object
I know, because mine is too. Remember that your bike is awkwardly shaped and takes up a lot of space. Probably more space than you think! And it has lots of pointy parts! Bikes are still not allowed on the first car of any train or the first three cars during rush hour. Those folding bikes that never look cool when you're riding them are allowed on trains at any time. Just treat them like annoying luggage with a lot of metal things hanging off of it.
Crowded Cars Do Not Want You
You will know this by the empty gaze looking back at you from some person crammed in the middle of a car, desperately clinging to a strap, hoping half the train car empties at the next stop. That person hates your bike. "Do not put your bike on this car," they'll say with their eyes. Also: It is official BART policy: no bikes on crowded cars.
Take The Stairs
Seriously, don't stand on the escalator taking up space. No one can get by and now all the angry fast escalator walkers hate you too. Take the stairs or the elevator, which is probably broken anyway. If there's absolutely no one on the escalator in front of you, then by all means march on up and keep moving. (Just note that it's still against BART policy.)
Don't Block The Seats
Only the lowest sort of human being blocks perfectly good open seats. That goes for folding bikes, luggage, backpacks and feet too. If you're blocking a seat with your bike and the train isn't more than halfway empty then you should be subject BART's repeat offenders rule.
Definitely Don't Block The Handicap Spaces
You have the opposite of a handicap. You have a machine that makes you go faster than most normal humans. Don't be a jerk about it.