Environmental News Service writes that "the pilot is a part of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s Climate Initiatives Program that tests innovative projects for their ability to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from transportation." Presumably that's why it's called a pilot - if it doesn't reduce GHGs, they won't continue funding it?
In fact, the Bike Sharing Pilot is listed as one of seventeen demonstration projects that OneBayArea, a collaboration of four regional government agencies: the Association of Bay Area Governments, Bay Area Air Quality Management District, San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission and MTC, has awarded with "innovative grants".
The Bay Area Bike Share pilot program will go live on August 29 with 700 bikes at 70 stations in five cities – San Francisco, Redwood City, Palo Alto, Mountain View and San Jose. [See map of stations.] For the second phase, 300 additional bikes and 30 kiosks will be added in the first quarter 2014 to reach the full pilot complement of 1,000 bikes and 100 stations.
These locations correspond somewhat with the multiple managers of the pilot that include MTC, "Bay Area Air Quality Management District, and local government agencies – the City and County of San Francisco, SamTrans, Caltrain, the County of San Mateo, the City of Redwood City and the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority." The five cities are also all located on the Caltrain commuter rail line that runs 47.5 miles from San Francisco down the Peninsula to San Jose.
It costs $88 for an annual pass, $22 for three days or $9 for a day. Each pass includes costs for the first 30 minutes of a trip, with surcharges on trips that exceed that time limit.
Will San Francisco break away and launch it's own project?
Streetsblog's Aaron Bialick wrote in March that at least one San Francisco leader, disappointed with the "minisucle" 350 bikes (out of 700 in the initial launch) in his city, may take matters into his own hands.
Wiener plans to introduce a resolution [PDF] at today’s Board of Supervisors meeting calling on the SF Municipal Transportation Agency to move beyond the pilot being planned by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District and launch a citywide bike-share system by 2014.