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Tips to Find Late Morning BART Parking Spots

Local BART riders offer advice on how to find parking spaces at local BART stations.

Bart ridership is up and some would say that fact is evident when you drive by a local BART station and try to find a parking space.

In Fremont and Union City, the parking lots fill up fast – with the estimated parking fill times being 6:30 a.m. in Fremont and 7:30 a.m. in Union City, according to BART.gov.

Tri-City residents sounded off about the parking issue at BART stations and shared numerous tips after we shared a story about having to drive to the Hayward BART station just to find parking mid-morning. Their solutions ranged from reserving parking spaces to driving to south Hayward.

Here’s what BART riders from Fremont, Newark and Union City had to say about finding parking or using alternative ways to get to the BART station.

  • Paul Bernabe South Hayward BART early in the morning when there is parking, after 9:00, there is no parking at all!
  • Marlyn Capistrano if I need to take BART, I park at South Hayward
  • Cynthia Velasquez Grant Or if that is not possible... Be there by 7:00 AM. You can Also do reserved parking, but there is a waiting list (and an additional fee!)
  • Jennifer Griffin: I never had trouble parking at Union City when I took BART to work last year. But be sure to add in a few minutes to do the long walk from the lot across the tracks.
  • Deborah Rosario Kennedy For Fremont, wait until 10am if you can and snag one of the carpool parking spots that open up for general parking at 10.
  • Ditale Mae I ride my bike to BART once a week. Really can't fathom why I don't do it every day because it's actually faster from my home to South Hayward than driving. Probably just the routine is all. I don't have to find parking, park and walk in from the spot, just roll right up to the entry and YOU get an extra spot to park! I've found numerous safe routes with wide bike lanes, it's pleasant. We even have a bike/ped bridge in south Hayward just 2 blocks north of west Tennyson paralleling it. It does make a difference that I take the Richmond line because that allows bikes (I hear that BART's experimenting with allowing bikes on all routes during peak hours) But even driving I never have to reserve and rarely have to park in the overflow lot across the street.
  • Lali Maly park in so. hayward and you have to stand the whole ride. Even park in UC and you stand! more trains people!!!
  • Joan Gelfand Matlack If it's occasional, reserve a parking place online.
  • Damian Mendola Union City Bart parking is horrible. The parking signs are not well worded, and some signs have one description of their parking 'rules' other sign have a different description.
  • Vickie Parilla South Hayward. Lots of parking and it's FREE!
  • Richard Pruneda Sr I love public transportation, lol, i have someone drop me off.
  • Victoria Simonetti I live in the condos across the street from America's Tire Co. and I walk but for those driving... its not a long walk to park in the neighborhood and talk a 5 minute walk.
  • David Sundahl I get to UC BART by Union City Transit. or the #97

Here is more on the increase of ridership on BART as reported in a BART press release:

Riders drawn by BART’s 95% or better on time performance standard are flocking to the transit system in September, pushing weekday ridership past  the 400,000-plus milestone for the third time this month, including more than 415,000 trips Monday, September 10 (please see accompanying chart).

“Record ridership is great for the Bay Area.  It helps improve the environment and mobility throughout the region and the increased revenue will help us re-invest in our system,” said BART General Manager Grace Crunican.  “At 40 years old, BART is carrying more people than ever.  We have 410 more trains on order and they can’t get here fast enough.  In the meantime, we’ve added four extra trains in each direction on our busy Millbrae to Richmond line each weeknight.”

BART has seen a remarkable boost in ridership. Nine of BART’s top 20 ridership days have been recorded in 2012. In the past, it took a Giants World Series parade or a Bay Bridge closure to spike ridership but ridership approaching or surpassing the 400,000 mark is becoming the new normal.

BART Increasing Capacity & Maximizing Its Fleet 

 BART is working to increase the interior capacity of its existing fleet of train cars to ease on-boarding and off-boarding and to create additional space for riders. 

BART is also maximizing the use of its existing fleet of 669 train cars without sacrificing its 95% or better on time performance. On a typical day BART operates more than 85 percent of its total fleet of train cars, among the highest percentage of any major U.S. transit agency. The cars that are not in service are instead undergoing repairs or being retrofitted with improvements like the easier-to-clean vinyl seats or non-carpeted floors.

How to Find More Room

BART offers the following advice to passengers to help find a little more room:

  • Move beyond the center of the platform - the cars at either end of the train are generally less crowded;
  • If you have the flexibility to travel outside the busiest commute hours (7:30 to 9 a.m., 4:30 to 7 p.m.), you're likely to find more room;
  • After you enter the train car, move away from the door and move down the aisle to create additional room;
  • If you're wearing a backpack, remove it and hold it or place it between your legs;
  • If you are near the doors step out to the platform for a moment to free space for those trying to exit the train;
  • Perhaps most important: be considerate of your fellow passengers.

How do you commute to BART? Do you think something needs to be done to address overcrowded BART parking lots? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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