Reverse commuting and BART parking

I’ve just started reading The Capricious Commuter, a blog about transportation in the Bay Area. When I was going through the archives, this statement jumped out at me:

I know this, because I’ve trolled the lot at Pleasant Hill after 9:15 a.m. looking for spaces. It took 20 minutes and made me feel stupid for imagining that someone might be leaving at that time of the morning.

I don’t know much about parking dynamics at Pleasant Hill. Earlier this year, arriving at about 9 am was a perfectly valid strategy for the Pleasanton station. Before the parking fees at BART, I used to drive to BART in the evening to get home. I’d get a good spot near the entrance to the station, and take the train home. On the next morning, I’d take the train back to my car and drive the short distance to work. Between 9 and 9:30 every morning, there were usually 10-15 people who would do the same, and it was common for a few cars to be waiting at the end of the first row of parking spaces to take advantage of the spaces vacated in the morning.

Now that there’s a parking fee, there are no spots vacated early in the morning. My guess is that those riders have started driving to Pleasanton, bought reserved permits, or started using the bus. Back when the parking fees were being studied, I wrote to my BART director to ask him to allow the “reverse commute” overnight parking, but obviously my letter wasn’t something he paid attention to.

One Response to “Reverse commuting and BART parking”

  1. Hey, thanks for mentioning my blog! I know exactly what you’re talking about with the need for overnight parking. I could use a car at work even though I prefer to take the train to work. I haven’t really tried to park overnight at BART because the BART stations that would make sense either don’t have parking or I wouldn’t want to leave my car there. I could, in theory, park at work, but it’s an open lot in downtown Oakland. We get our windows smashed at lunch time, so your imagination can give you a good idea of what might happen there at night. We’re about to move the office down to the Coliseum area, but on the opposite side of I-880 from the BART and Amtrak stations. That’s a place I could really use a car at the station to get back and forth to the new office building. The problem is that the Coliseum/Airport BART station is a dangerous place at night.

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