Bike theft is a huge problem at San Francisco Bay Area BART stations. The floors of some look like a maniac dynamited a Kryptonite factory.
But the newfangled bike racks the agency is rolling out as a pilot project might deter at least a bit of the crime. They have tough, built-in locking mechanisms, alarms that screech if someone tampers with them, and the ability to ping the authorities and make security cameras take photos—basically everything short of a deploying a flamethrower at bike thieves.
“I’ve been keeping my eye out for new, high-security bike-parking options for several years,” says Steve Beroldo, manager of access programs at BART. “There are surprisingly few on the market. But this one caught my eye.”
The agency says it’s the first transit agency in the U.S. to test these racks, which are made by Bikeep, a company with offices in San Francisco and Estonia. The way they work is that a cyclist registers for rack access and then taps a Clipper transit card on the device. The rack detects the card’s identification number and matches it to the cyclist, releasing a bar that secures the front wheel as well as the frame. Only the same card holder can then unlock the rack.