Bay Area Bike Share Prepares for August 29 Launch

Dwarfed by its city counterparts, the Bay Area's 1,000 bikes will cover a larger region (5 cities in 3 counties) with fewer bikes, many placed at key transit nodes. It also distinguishes itself by being a 'pilot program' with multiple public owners.

2 minute read

August 14, 2013, 8:00 AM PDT

By Irvin Dawid

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 GovernmentsBay Area Air Quality Management DistrictSan 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.

KQED's Bryan Goebel wrote on August 12 that "San Jose become [sic] the first city to install docking stations."

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.

"Supervisor Scott Wiener says San Francisco needs to take the initiative to move ahead and launch a “full-scale system” throughout the city by next year.

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.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013 in Environment News Service

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