Imagine noshing a blueberry cake donut and perusing Oaklandish tees while you wait for your morning BART train.
This winter, BART will welcome your hard-earned dollars for all kinds of tasty eats and merch as new retail pods begin popping up in high-traffic stations across Oakland and San Francisco.
As part of a deal with the developer TransMart, new retail shops are expected to finally move into BART stations this December after years-long negotiations. Resembling pop-up stands rather than permanent brick-and-mortars and ranging in size from 100 to 2,000 square feet, the pods will house such local brands as Ghirardelli Chocolate and funky fashion label Oaklandish, as well as the latest Bay Area craze, Dunkin Donuts. Retailers will pay anywhere from $1,000 to $4,000 per month, depending on each particular business and station.
"How do we make the experience of riding BART more interesting, pleasant, and exciting?"—that's the goal, according to TransMart CEO Alexis Wong, speaking to the East Bay Express this week.
BART plans to open coffee stands, produce markets, dry cleaning and other services throughout its stations; existing retailers, including Scooter's Coffee in downtown SF and Subway at Oakland's 19th Street station, are expected to remain. But before you get too excited about that morning donut and coffee, be prepared to toss it back quickly—BART's not planning to budge on its no-food, no-drink policy on trains.