Home of the next bike station
Construction on the new bike station at the Ashby BART location, which has been briefly delayed while cabling and security cameras are put into place, should resume shortly. The 124-capacity bike station will open "within a month" according to Steve Beroldo of BART's Customer Access Department.
The new bike station is part of the general station modernization project underway throughout the BART system. According to BART, 12 percent of people arriving to Ashby BART from home arrive by bicycle - the highest percentage in the entire system. The regularly scheduled station improvements created an opportunity to create more attractive and accessible bicycle parking.
Bike stations are relatively new to BART (Ashby will be the fourth station to get one), and the agency continues to refine its idea of how the stations should look and feel. For instance, the station at Embarcadero is not very visible and goes half empty most days. The bike station at Ashby will be right next to the main entrance and highly visible.
However, other questions remain. The Downtown Berkeley bike station, which offers both self-service and valet bike parking, sees a strong preference for the valet parking.
"Is there an obstacle preventing people from using the self-service? Do we need to market or explain BikeLink? Do we need to make BikeLink more available?" Beroldo asked. "This is still a learning process. There's no perfect solution, we just take what we learn and make the next one more appropriate."
The next BART bike station will be constructed at MacArthur station as part of the plaza renovation project. BART also is looking at Civic Center and the transit-oriented developments planned around Pleasant Hill and Walnut Creek.
Meanwhile, BART is beginning its next Bicycle Parking and Access Plan. The study is expected to take 18 months and provide an update on the last evaluation from 2002. The new study will use surveys, ridership data and other feedback to gauge demand for bike stations throughout the BART system and estimate the benefits of different types of improvements. Stay tuned for information on how you can help inform BART's future bike parking.