Bay Area Bike Share Poised to Grow from 700 to 7,000 Bikes

The regional system would expand to the the East Bay cities of Berkeley, Oakland and Emeryville. Bikes would be added in San Jose and San Francisco.

April 4, 2015, 7:00 AM PDT

By Irvin Dawid

(Updated 04/05/15) Bay Area Bike Share is notable on two fronts: First, its a regional, not a city program. Second, its a pilot program "with funding from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission's Initiatives Program and the Air District's (BAAQMD) Transportation Fund for Clean Air (TFCA) Program.

Emily Green writes about important changes proposed on both fronts. First, the headline-grabbing proposal—expanding tenfold the number of bikes:

In San Francisco, the number of bikes would jump from 328 to 4,500; in San Jose from 129 to 1,000. In the East Bay, 850 bikes would go to Oakland, 400 to Berkeley and 100 to Emeryville.

According to an email from the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), it is uncertain what will happen with bike stations in Palo Alto, and Mountain View, and presumably Redwood City, as bike share in the three Peninsula cities experienced low utilization.

With the proposed expansion, the program appears to be transitioning from a pilot project to a permanent part of the Bay Area's many transportation options. Funding will need to come in part from "sponsorships from corporations" that the program's operator, Motivate (successor to Alta Bicycle Share) would find.

Next steps:

"A committee of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) will consider the measure at its meeting on Wednesday (April 8), and the full commission will vote on it later this spring," writes Green. "If approved, installation of the new stations would take place in 2016 and 2017."

*This post was updated to more accurately report the state of the bike share program in Palo Alto, Mountain View, and Redwood City. 

Thursday, April 2, 2015 in San Francisco Chronicle

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