How-To :: How to Use BART

by shannon

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With bumper-to-bumper traffic and high gas prices, it's no wonder that more and more people are choosing to take BART to where they need to be. BART stands for Bay Area Rapid Transit, and is a popular railway system used by commuters and tourists alike to get to their favorite places in the Bay Area. Need to get somewhere but don't have wheels? BART just may be your answer.

1. If your trip is time-sensitive, check the BART fares and schedules. Be sure to note that weekday and weekend schedules are different.

2. Once you know your route and destination, purchase your ticket at any BART station. Make sure you put in enough money for a one-way or round trip to your destination, depending on your preference. Fares are listed at every ticket machine.

3. If you put in more money than is needed for your fare, you have two options. You can either:
     a) Print a ticket with more fare than you need, and use the remainder towards a trip in the future, or
     b) Make sure you print a ticket only for what you need and get the rest as change.

4. Once you put your ticket through the gate, you cannot leave the station. If you do (feeding your ticket through an exit gate), you will be charged the most expensive round-trip fare. If you messed something up and need to get out, find a BART employee.

5. If your trip requires no transfers, you’ve got it easy. If it does, make sure you pay attention to where your particular transfer point is. Popular transfer stations include West Oakland, MacArthur, and 12th Street Oakland. You don’t want to fall asleep and miss your stop. If you do, get off as soon as you can and go back to where you were.

Helpful Hints:

  • If you’re driving to BART, make SURE to read the parking policy signs. Most stations require a $1/day fee to park that you pay upon entering the station (either by cash or using your BART ticket). Enter your stall number and make SURE that you get a receipt so you have proof that you’ve paid.
  • Make sure to keep your ticket away from magnetized devices like cell phones. If they touch, the ticket generally loses its encoding and won’t let you enter the gates. If that happens, find a BART employee and explain to them what happened.
  • For more information, check out the BART Basics Guide



Great tips for someone unfamiliar with BART!