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Nation's Newest Bike Share Perhaps the Smallest

What better day to launch a new bike share program than on Bike-to-Work Day? in the Bay Area, that day was May 12. The City of San Mateo launched Bay Bikes, with 50 bicycles at 11 stations. Now the region has two programs, the other being regional.
May 14, 2016, 11am PDT | Irvin Dawid
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San Mateo Mayor Joe Goethals takes a spin on one of the news Bay Bikes.

Modeled on Breeze Bikeshare, the GPS-enabled bikeshare program run by the city of Santa Monica (posted here by Planetizen contributing editor Philip Rojc), Bay Bikes became operational on Thursday. The city of San Mateo, population almost 103,000, had approved the program last November.

Bay Bikes is unlike its big, big sibling, Bay Area Bike Share, a truly regional system which will expand from 700 to 7,000 bikes by 2017, operates in eight cities: San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, Berkeley, Emeryville, Palo Alto, Mountain View, and Redwood City in four counties: San Francisco, Santa Clara, Alameda, and San Mateo Counties.

"Though small, what makes this bike share system different is that the bikes are locked on bike racks," writes Bryan Goebel, KQED reporter focused on transportation and housing issues. "There are no docking stations."

Designated bike racks, or stations, have been placed around transit hubs, large employers and commercial districts.

You can actually lock the bike to any bike rack, but there is a $3 fee if it’s not parked at or near a bike station.

“We think it’s an amazing model for a city like San Mateo,” said Kathy Kleinbaum, San Mateo’s interim economic development manager, who is overseeing the program.

Goebel further describes the operational aspects of Bay Bikes (pricing here), and possible future integration with Bay Area Bike Share. He also notes that the three Peninsula cities south of San Mateo currently in the Bay Area Bike Share, Redwood City, Palo Alto, and Mountain View, might not continue in the region system, explained here earlier.

Kleinbaum adds that Bay Bikes is a pilot program costing the city $350,000 for three years. "But Kleinbaum says if it proves popular, it could be expanded sooner," writes Goebel.

Check out the video tutorial for more on how these bikes work, and visit the Bay Area Bike Share website for pilot details. 

Hat tip to MTC Transportation Headline News

Full Story:
Published on Thursday, May 12, 2016 in KQED News Fix
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