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April 8, 2014 > Bike East Bay receives award

Bike East Bay receives award

Submitted By Renee Rivera

Local Bicycle Advocacy group Bike East Bay received national recognition at the Alliance for Biking & Walking Advocacy Awards, held on March 3. Bike East Bay won the Bicycling Magazine PeopleÕs Choice Award for their work winning full access for bicycles on the BART system in 2013.

This award, a new category in 2014, is given to a state or local bike advocacy organization in recognition of exemplary work aimed at improved bicycling. It is only fitting that the winner decided by popular vote on Bicycling.com was a campaign to bring better bicycling connectivity to one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the country: the San Francisco Bay.

The San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit System (BART) began service in 1972 with no provision for access by bicyclists - the East Bay Bicycle Coalition was founded that same year with the specific goal of gaining bicycle access on BART.

A few years later, the rules were relaxed Ð but riders were still required to carry a permit. In 1997, thanks to the advocacy of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition and the East Bay Bicycle Coalition (now renamed Bike East Bay), BARTÕs Board of Directors voted to end the permits and therefore remove an important barrier to access. Permanently removing the long-time rush-hour bike ban in 2013 was the last step in providing equal access for bicyclists.

ÒBy making full access for bikes on BART a permanent policy change, East Bay residents have gained a new healthy and convenient commute option,Ó said Renee Rivera, Executive Director of the 4,500-member Bike East Bay, about this historic win. The Bikes on BART campaign was led in coordination with the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition and the Bikes on Board team. Learn more at BikeEastBay.org.

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