On January 4th, the SMART Board of Directors approved funding for 42 bicycle U-racks and 68 electronic bike lockers across the 10 SMART stations set to open this spring.
As you may recall, this past fall SMART released its SMART Station Bicycle Parking Investment Plan, a plan that forecasted bicycle parking demand in order to determine how much and what types of bicycle parking to install at each station. The plan’s baseline bicycle parking recommendations called for a combination of bike racks and electronic bicycle lockers at every station. However, to SCBC’s and others’ disappointment, despite the bike parking recommendations laid out in the Plan, only five bike racks were planned to be installed at each station by the start of passenger service.
In response to this news, SCBC and our partners at the Marin County Bicycle Coalition (MCBC) submitted a joint letter and attended a SMART workshop urging SMART to install the recommended baseline facilities before the start of service. Additionally, we emphasized the superiority and importance of secure e-lockers, such as BikeLink lockers (discussed below), over single-user (or assigned) lockers.
Thank you to all of you who responded to our call for action and submitted comments to SMART urging them to proceed with a more robust bicycle parking strategy. This request was echoed by many North Bay bicycle advocates and was acknowledged and supported by the SMART Board of Directors.
The chart below highlights the additional bicycle parking capacity that will be installed before service begins, with the recently-funded spaces identified in red.
Each of the 42 U-racks will accommodate two bikes. The electronic lockers, which will be the first installed in the North Bay, can be accessed via a BikeLink membership card. Plans are currently underway to integrate BikeLink with the Clipper Card, allowing for a convenient transition between travel modes for commuters. Those interested in using the lockers when service begins should visit BikeLink’s website to learn more.
Once service begins, SCBC and MCBC will begin monitoring the adequacy of the bike parking supply and recommending the installation of additional facilities where necessary. We will also be providing a means for public feedback via our website on what’s working and what’s not working with regards to bike parking at the stations and bike capacity on the trains.