Nice rack! BART installing new system to thwart bike thefts


BART is considering high-tech means to ensure its riders’ locked bikes stay put.

The transit agency is getting ready to test out a new high-security bike rack inside the 16th and Mission station that will allow users to secure their bikes with a swipe of their Clipper cards. A solar-powered version of the system is also being installed outside the Pleasant Hill station.

Billed as better than u-locks, the Bikeep system is equipped with an alarm and an electronic alert, both of which are triggered if someone tries to steal the bike, as well as a galvanized steel bar that locks to the frame and wheel.

“We’ll get feedback from users and see how they perform in the field,” Steve Beroldo, BART’s manager for access programs, wrote in an email.

“Theft is a concern at all BART stations and pretty much anywhere else in the Bay Area where one leaves a bike parked for significant periods of time,” he added. “BART has a number of programs and policies in place to try and deter theft.”

The smart racks will have 10 spaces that are free to use but available on a first-come, first-served basis. Users will be required to first do a quick one-time registration online.

BART is still finishing up some signage, an instructional video and some electrical work, but the project should go live sometime before the end of the month, Beroldo said.

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