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My partner and I were considering purchasing a Burley Travoy (http://www.burley.com/products/cargo-utilities/travoy.cfm). We thought we might do this because we like to get groceries at Rainbow in San Francisco sometimes, though we live across the Bay in Oakland. It seemed like the Travoy would be easier to get on an off the train (with a bike) and easier to keep out of the path of other passengers than our Burley Flatbed... but is this even allowed? It says NOTHING about trailers in any of the BART literature.

Is there anyone out there who has tried taking a trailer on BART? Did you get hasseled? Are there other transit systems that have a policy on bike trailers?

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If the close vote is because this is local, I think that this question can be instructive for others in the same situation. Most transit systems won't have a policy about this, and whether or not one can take a trailer on transit is really going to be more about logistics and the time of day. –  Neil Fein Dec 17 '10 at 22:34
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The answer to other questions on this site may also be found locally. I'm looking for other people's experiences, here. I have asked BART agents and they have offered conflicting answers. I really don't think the agency has a policy and I'm wondering if others have already played this game. –  DC_CARR Dec 17 '10 at 23:34
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Note that the local area covered by BART has the population of a small country, such as Scotland. –  freiheit Dec 18 '10 at 7:17
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This is way too local. Its also something that it liable to change over time. Apart from that... Actually what's interesting about this and a more valid question is the specific trailer might reasonably be described as luggage (especially with a modest amount of work). So, for example, my Christiana trailer would be impossible but my Radical Cyclone might work (with the wheels removed its just a bag, albeit a rather large one). With the draw bar folded down its no longer a trailer and it bears a remarkable resemblance to (what is referred to in the UK as) a shopping trolley... –  Murph Dec 19 '10 at 12:07
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I think, based on the discussion here, that there is no answer to this question--@zigdon's answer, below, raises a point that I had not considered when asking and not being answered by BART. We are talking about this specific trailer because it COULD be argued that it is luggage and not a trailer... I would still be interested if anyone else--whether on BART or on similar agencies in another city--has an example of a transit system with a policy on bike trailers. –  DC_CARR Dec 20 '10 at 20:44

3 Answers 3

I also contacted BART via the customer service email listed on the BART website and received this answer while out for the holidays:

Dave,

Bike trailers are permitted on BART, with the same basic restrictions as bicycles (no bikes in the first car, or on trains passing through downtown San Francisco, Oakland or Berkeley during rush hours). The only additonal restriction would simply be extra awareness, as you will be using more space then a regular bike, and to avoid crowded trains, even if it is not during the restricted hours. Thanks for choosing BART.

Operator #6 BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) Transit Information Center Tel. 510-465-2278 (live operators) 6AM to 11PM - 7/Days"


Hi,

I called BART and the person I spoke with was very nice and quite informative.

So, first thing is that you need to follow the standard BART bicycle rules. Basically, there are a number of bicycle restrictions regarding peak commuting hours. You're pretty much committed to following those rules.

According to the rep I spoke with, during "non-peak" hours, you may or may not be allowed to use a trailer. The station masters will look at the length of your set-up. So, during low demand periods, you're probably ok if your trailer and bike are detached and compact as possible.

So the message I got is this. You will not be able to commute during peak hours with a trailer. You're probably ok with some trailers during non-peak times; except at times when a big event is occurring in the city.

I'd suggest that you pick an off-peak time when it's not terribly inconvenient and try out your bike trailer set-up. Also, according to the BART rep, if you're organized about things and your trailer is basically a large piece of luggage, you're probably good to go during the off-peak hours.

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I'd try this: http://www.bart.gov/siteinfo/contact.aspx

The link provides local phone numbers and email addresses, etc.

Just saying. Give the BART office a call. They'll most likely answer your question.

And to add, I did what I'd do in my locale and found this: http://www.bart.gov/guide/bikes/bikeRules.aspx

Especially check the first and second bullet points.

A bike seems to be ok on an uncrowded train. (BART rules = Regardless of any other rule, bikes are never allowed on crowded cars. Use your good judgment and only board cars that can comfortably accommodate you and your bicycle). They're not saying anything about bike+; so guessing, it's probably ok if the car can accomodate your bike and the trailer.

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If you get a positive answer from them it might be worth asking for it in writing on headed note paper. That way if you do get hassle when trying to take the trailer on board you can produce the letter to back up your position. –  Amos Dec 18 '10 at 9:56
    
Getting it in writing is a good idea that I had not thought of, though I have been to the above website and not received a reply to my query... –  DC_CARR Dec 20 '10 at 17:09
    
And yeah, I do live in the Bay Area and I am familiar with BART and I HAVE already seen all of that. I tried that first. It hasn't helped. I'm looking for other advice. –  DC_CARR Dec 22 '10 at 18:41

My guess is that BART is very intentionally NOT making a policy on the matter. They wouldn't be able to make one that allows trailers, but as long as they haven't been forced to speak on the matter, it becomes an issue at the station agent's discretion. Yes, that makes it difficult to plan around what you know is allowed, but I think it's still better than a flat out "no you cannot do this".

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Good point. I hadn't thought of it from that perspective. Thus far, it just felt like they were being evasive for no particular reason. –  DC_CARR Dec 20 '10 at 20:40

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