Second Largest Bikeshare in U.S. will be Bay Area's by 2017

Bay Area Bike Share will grow from 700 to 7,000 bikes by 2017 after the expansion proposal was approved by a unanimous vote of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. It is a regional, not a city program, though most usage is in San Francisco.

May 30, 2015, 1:00 PM PDT

By Irvin Dawid


The new operator of Bay Area Bike Share is Motivate, previously known as Alta Bicycle Share, which also operates the nation's largest bikeshare program, Citi Bike. "At a press conference following the [May 27] Commission action, Motivate unveiled the next generation of bike share bicycles [pictured below], which are specially built to withstand the elements and heavy use on all terrains," writes Brenda Kahn, Senior Public Information Officer at the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC). 

Credit: MTC

With the Commission's approval, the program now expands to the three East Bay cities of Oakland, Berkeley, and Emeryville. What was uncertain prior to the May 27 Commission meeting was whether it would remain in the three Peninsula cities where usage rates have been low.

Three West Bay cities that were part of the original pilot program but not included in Motivate’s expansion plans — Redwood City, Mountain View and Palo Alto — have the option to continue to participate under separate agreements with Motivate [although they can remain at no cost through June 2016.]

"Other cities in the region that want to participate in the regional bike share system can develop a service agreement with Motivate using their own sources of funds, according to a preset price, with the ability to secure sponsorships to cover the costs," writes Kahn, although "MTC is committing $4.5 million for capital costs" for expansion in those cities.

Under the public/private arrangement, the 7,000 bike program will operate with no financial support from the public sector, relying instead on member/use fees and [corporate] sponsorships.

Presumably the corporate sponsorships will allow for advertising on the bikes and the docking stations, as noted earlier. Currently neither have ads.

Wary of the demographic factors that show low income, nonwhite commuters are less likely to use bike share, Motivate will have a reduced membership fee for those who qualify.

An annual pass for Bike Share will start at no more than $149, with future adjustments pegged to inflation. Low income Bay Area residents will be eligible to purchase an annual pass at just 40 percent of the standard rate. Also in the area of equity, Motivate is required to place a minimum of 20 percent of its docks and bikes in communities of concern.

With the approval of the new contract, "(o)verall management of the program will transfer from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District to MTC," writes Kahn. So ends what must be considered a successful pilot project that was launched in August, 2013.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015 in Metropolitan Transportation Commission

The New York Public Library's stone lions Patience and Fortitude have donned face masks to remind New Yorkers to wear face coverings during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Top Urban Planning Books of 2021

Planetizen's annual list of the top urban planning books of the year is here—maintaining a tradition that dates back to 2002.

November 26, 2021 - James Brasuell

Empty Road

The Roadway Expansion Paradox

Motorists want expensive roadway expansions provided that somebody else foots the bill, but when required to pay directly through tolls, the need for more capacity often disappears. What should planners do?

November 28, 2021 - Todd Litman

Moving

Urban Exodus: Data Don't Support the Popular Pandemic Narrative

Americans fled cities in waves during the pandemic, right? Not to so fast.

November 30, 2021 - Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University

Bentonville, AR Central Avenue at night

Opinion: Northwest Arkansas Could Be the 'Next Austin'

The home of Walmart and the University of Arkansas could be poised to see growth as cities like Austin and Boise become less affordable.

7 hours ago - Bloomberg Opinion

Downtown Houston overlooking Interstate 45.

Contentious Houston Freeway Widening Project Inches Forward

Federal officials have given TxDOT the go-ahead to resume work on a small portion of a controversial interstate widening project in downtown Houston.

December 5 - The Houston Chronicle

An image of President Joe Biden at a meeting in the White House while wearing a mask in February 2021.

Biden's 'Path Out of the Pandemic' Imperiled by Multiple Court Decisions

The vaccine mandate that applies to federal contractors included in President Biden's COVID plan announced in September to slow the Delta surge was halted by a federal judge in Kentucky. That's the third requirement to be paused, leaving only one.

December 5 - Lexington Herald-Leader

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.