SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – By all accounts, it’s a thorny issues for commuters on both sides of the aisle, so to speak: should bicycles be allowed on Bay Area Rapid Transit?

The long-simmering debate may be a step closer to resolution, with the BART’s Bicycle Advisory Task Force scheduled to meet Monday evening to discuss results of the Bikes on Board August pilot project and accompanying ridership survey results.

KCBS’ Jeffrey Schaub Reports: 

The results of the survey were released to the public last week.

Currently, bicycles are prohibited during peak weekday morning and afternoon commutes. However, the transit agency lifted the restrictions on five Fridays during the summer in an effort to gauge riders’ reactions in the event that the transit agency elected to make permanent changes in policy.

“Most of the riders who were on board and answered the survey found that the bikes really weren’t a big inconvenience,” explained Steve Beroldo, BART’s bike program manager.

According to Beroldo, 37% of survey participants said they wanted BART’s bike blackout periods to remain in place. 37% responded in favor of eliminating them, and 25% of respondents liked the idea of reducing the two-hour blackout periods to one-hour increments.

But, he stressed that rider satisfaction is just one consideration.

“We have to look at a lot of factors, including you know how the bike loading and unloading affects train dwell time. We have a range of things that we’re looking at that can make it better and easier to carry bikes on board.”

“We’re removing seats on both sides of the doors,” he continued, “to make not only more room for bicycles, but more room for wheelchairs or strollers, for when there is a big load on the trains for people to get in and out more easily.”

The task force planned to meet in room 171 of the BART MetroCenter, 101 Eight St., Oakland, at 6 p.m.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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