As much as we’d like to trust our fellow humans, we need only to be a cyclist in a busy city to have a slightly more cynical view of our compatriots. Between angry drivers, distracted pedestrians, and the worst of all, bike thieves, it’s hard out there for a bike rider. But San Francisco wants to make things a bit easier for their cyclists — at least when it comes to that last problem. BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) has kicked off a pilot program featuring “zero theft bike racks” from Bikeep.
Promising that bike riders will no longer need to lug around personal locks anymore (only to have them cut off), Bikeep wants to help these commuters park their bikes safely and securely with naught more than a swipe of their Clipper card (the pass that Bay Area residents use to ride public transportation). Best of all? Bikeep is free.
Last week, the company announced its first pilot station installation for BART with hopes of reducing bike theft in their stations. In order to use the Bikeep stations, cyclists will need to register online on the BART website. But other than that, the new setup should be relatively straightforward to use.
“U-locks are not impregnable; you can get through them, and unfortunately, people have learned how to do that,” says Steve Beroldo, Manager Access Programs at BART. But Bikeep’s solution promises to be far more secure.
“Our smart racks have industrial grade steel bars, loudspeaker alarm, distress signal forwarding to local security and surveillance camera — so far out of 1 million parking sessions we haven’t had a single bike theft incident,” said Kristjan Lind, Chief Executive Officer, Bikeep.
To ensure that people aren’t just leaving their bikes around San Francisco willy nilly, Lind noted that BART would be liable to “get in touch with the owner before removing the bike from the station.” However, he continued, “Bike parking will be free for all users and continuous parking is limited for 24 hours.”
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